interior JoyG on Alexandra Road

I don’t know what you did with the first day of 2013, but mine was spent being a professional, world-class laze-ball.  I put off all my cleaning/organization/real-life tasks until today, ate chocolate for breakfast, snacked on chips, had fruitcake with tea, scratched a Christmas lotto card, won three bucks, and curled up on my bed like a cheeky cat to watch Downton Abbey.  I so rarely spend days like that, but when I do they feel great.  If my New Year’s resolution was to love life, I can cross it Off!  The!  List!

Yesterday was all about Quality Alone Time.  I’ve had the most wonderful Christmas holidays, packed with so many friends, family, and eggnog it’s been like one big hug.  I don’t mind spending time by myself, however, and that was solidly proven by going to Joy G on Alexandra Road alone.

JoyG exterior

Why is that a strange thing to do?  Because it’s a bubble tea house that specializes in board and card games, and none of them are Solitaire.  There were stacks and stacks of games in the front window for patrons to use, some of which were familiar to me and some of which I’d never seen before.

board games at JoyG

You’d think that upon finding it to be such a group-oriented place I’d leave, but here’s the thing: I’d already settled in, and anyone who knows me knows I don’t like games. 

Menu at JoyG on Alexandra Road

You may have just had to sit down or grab the nearest wall to steady yourself, because game-lovers tend to react dramatically upon hearing that news.  Then they ask WHY?  How could you NOT LIKE GAMES?

Well, I can never remember the rules, a simple round of Go Fish can turn the sweetest people I know into vicious, fire-breathing competitive monsters, and I tend to get bored quickly.  Of course, I play cards sometimes and wouldn’t walk out on a game of Pictionary, but you’ll never receive an invitation to a Lindsay Anderson-organized Night of Board Games.  Kim Kardashian is more likely to become a nun than I am to purchase Risk.

Interior at JoyG, Richmond

When my game-passionate friends first hear this news, they have to do some serious soul-searching in order to come to terms with it.  Sometimes I bake them cookies to soften the blow.

So there you have it, I was alone at Joy G and could not have been happier; there was complimentary Wifi, quirky characters on the wall next to me, friendly service, and a meal to enjoy.  Game-free.

Wall decorations at JoyG

As with many bubble tea houses, the food wasn’t outstanding, but it was good enough for a cold night.  I had a green onion pancake ($5.25),


a bowl of wonton soup ($5.99),

wonton soup at JoyG

and a coconut milk tea with pearls ($4.25, which doubled both as a drink and dessert).


If you think Settlers of Catan is the greatest invention of human-kind, I apologize for the hurt I’ve caused you today.  But if you love Settlers AND bubble tea, then you are welcome for now knowing a place where you can enjoy both!  Joy G isn’t really a destination for food, but it has a niche, and (for many people) it’s a good one.

By the way, if Kim K. does become a nun, I promise to throw the biggest, baddest board game party the world has ever know.  That’s a promise.
Joy G Bubble Tea

8391 Alexandra Road, Richmond BC


Cash only

Vegetarian options available

Many drink options, limited food