A games venue and bar wants to open in the former TopShop store in York.
Roxy Leisure is seeking a licence to open a bowling alley and other gaming facilities alongside a bar in the Coppergate Centre store, 3 St Mary’s Square.
It has applied to open from 9am to 12.30am daily, and serve alcohol from 10am to midnight. But YorkMix understands the more likely opening time is at midday.
On its LinkedIn page, Roxy Leisure says it is “leading the way for a customer first business, with customer first experiences. All done with booze & ball games”.
The Leeds-based company has two brands, the Roxy Ball Room and Roxy Lanes. It is the more family-friendly Roxy Lanes that they plan to bring to York.
The venues offer everything from tenpin bowling to pool tables to beer pong to arcade games.
Cocktails and beer are served at the bar.
It has venues in Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham and Liverpool.
York always a target
Founded in 2013 by Leeds-based Matt and Ben Jones, Roxy Leisure secured £7.5m worth of investment from infrastructure and private equity investment firm Foresight Group last year.
The money is to fund its expansion plans.
A Roxy Leisure spokesman told YorkMix: “York’s always been somewhere that we wanted to open.”
But it wouldn’t be right for the Roxy Ball Room brand, which is more of a party venue.
“Roxy Lanes is family friendly right up until about 9pm. And then it closes around 11pm or midnight,” he said.
The Coppergate location has been empty since TopShop’s parent company Arcadia went into administration earlier this year.
It has about 37,000 sq ft of space over three floors. But the Roxy plan would only take up 15,000 sq ft of the unit, on a section of the ground and first floors.
The spokesman said that if they were granted the licence, the York Roxy Lanes would open in 2022, and hopefully early that year.
The venues typically create between 20 and 35 jobs.
He said the recent opening of The Hole In Wand in the Coppergate Centre made the location more attractive.
Such venues are known as “competitive socialising” in the leisure trade, and are becoming more popular after Covid as people look to dwell in one place rather than bar hop.
“The more of them there is in one area, the better that area becomes for that kind of dwell time,” he said.