• The Watchman

Two Brothers: Morning Coffee Creativity

For me it's usually the 12 oz Brewhouse and I usually forget my punch card. When you get 10 punches you get a free beverage. I’ve been hovering at 6 punches for like 10 months. But it was when ordering online and looking for my debit card that I FOUND my punch card and thought “how ironic”.

Can’t even go to Two Brothers but here’s the card for sure. In this time of uncertainty in the city due to covid19 its important to support local shops and businesses. Many of the norms have been turned upside down and Two Brothers is a place we really like and hope to see return. Great pastries baked fresh, great coffee and cool people: the atmosphere had a calming effect. Interestingly, a few of our clues were conjured up here. I worked in Downtown Chicago prior to becoming a person who watches humans have fun on camera. Almost every morning I’d get my Two Brothers and head to work. After leaving Chicago and working in Aurora the tradition continued.

So I’ll tell you a cool story, it's about one of our rooms. I had a small wooden box with a sliding top. The top fit very securely and snug so you would have to observe the box closely even if touching it. It wouldn’t just open. This is important because I couldn’t lock this box. I also couldn’t put a hinge on it or augment it in any way. It was part of a new, larger piece of furniture, so the dilemma was ‘how do I make this into a tough clue, when it would be unlocked the whole time’? Hmmmmm …. I also had 9 very small bottles with corks for tops. They were about 4 inches tall and I originally had 10 but I broke one. But when your job is an escape room that’s not necessarily a loss, you just have to adjust your cool. So a wooden box I couldn’t lock with a sliding top and 9 bottles. We didn’t open until 6 pm on this particular day.

Early that morning I strolled into Two Brothers as I had done so often. I got my coffee and lingered to talk to a buddy of mine who fixes motorcycles. The ladies behind the counter were fixing the pastries and pouring dough. Another of our friends behind the counter was talking to us and drying glasses. After she’d dry them she’d simply place them down. When looking over her shoulder, I could see the barista in the back pouring what looked like dough or batter into a cupcake or muffin pan. Then it dawned on me!

I’ll fill the little bottles with liquid, glue them on the box, and hide a secondary, non-essential clue inside of it. Yes. (voice in my head)

And that’s exactly what I did. I went to the store early, like at noon, and I put the plan in motion. I put different food coloring and a little water in each one. I wrote teeny-tiny messages on each bottle. After I put the little liquid inside I super glued the caps to the bottles. Next, I removed the slide top of the box and glued the bottles to it. 9 bottles; 3 rows of 3. Now the clue that went inside of the box was helpful, but not paramount. It would essentially be a free clue: simple observation and ingenuity could open the box, no math necessary. So you can’t put a MAJOR clue into what would be free and accessible because that would not be challenging.

The intention is to challenge people but to also allow them to have fun. The clues in the room are hard enough and very tricky; specifically in the Mad Hatter (Alice In Wonderland theme). So to have a reiteration in the room serves many purposes. And that’s IF they even find it or notice it. If. And a lot of people didn’t. Its crazy when you watch people on camera because they’re literally looking at it and staring at it and you’re thinking “come on dude, just touch it!” But nope, they wander off and play with sand. But what else was I going to do with a box I couldn’t obfuscate and 9, 4 inch bottles?

So yeah, that was a good Two Brothers memory. The brain goes off like a rocket (for me) when sipping coffee early in the morning and my creativity just soared in those plush leather chairs. Punk bands, Chopper Talk, canoeing, Calvin and Hobbes, veterans and business professionals. All mixed in with blueberry scones video games. When life turns to or becomes the “new normal” we sincerely hope it includes Two Brothers.



© 2016 Escape Strategy Aurora         |        4151 E. McCoy Drive, Suite 147, Aurora, IL. 60504

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