Main Line café employs ‘Pokemon Go’ to attract customers amid SEPTA service disruptions

Can a Main Line café “catch ’em all”? “Pokemon Go” has taken the country by storm, and one café located at a SEPTA Regional Rail station is leveraging the game’s popularity for business amid the transit agency’s service disruptions.

Shuttle buses have replaced SEPTA’s Regional Rail trains on the Cynwyd Line in Bala Cynwyd — a result of the transit agency pulling 120 of its Silverline V Regional Rail cars for inspection and repairs following the discovery of cracks in the cars over the Fourth of July Weekend.


That’s an issue for Trail’s End Café that operates out of that station, offering commuters with food, drinks and ice cream since it opened in late May this year.

“Only being open a month, we were fighting the battle of culture change,” said co-owner Tracy Katz, who said the shuttle buses don’t drive traffic through the café since they’re located up the hill and away from the establishment.

To get people — both new and loyal customers — back through its doors, he café is getting in on the game and utilizing the popularity of “Pokemon Go.”

“Pokemon Go,” the GPS-enabled, augmented-reality game by Nintendo that puts Pokemon (pocket monsters) into real-life scenarios, uses landmarks as Pokestops, attracting gamers to flock there in order to get items such as Pokeballs in order to catch wild Pokemon.

Trail’s End Café benefits from its home and the Cynwyd Station area’s historical significance; the owners are seeing a lot of foot traffic in the area from people playing “Pokemon Go” because there are four Pokestops by the café:

  • The totem pole in the Cynwyd Station Park
  • The war memorial on Bala Avenue
  • The Cynwyd Heritage Trail head
  • SEPTA’s Cynwyd Regional Rail station, where the café is located


The café has begun a promotion in which “Pokemon Go” players will get free flavor shots or regular sprinkles added to any ice cream purchase. All they have to do is show their “Pokemon Go” screens in order to take advantage of the discount.

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