York’s first gaming café planned – and you could play a part

Food and games… the perfect way to relax. Photograph: Viktor Hanacek
5 Feb 2017 @ 7.05 pm
| Business, Food & drink

York could soon have its first gaming café.

And what exactly would that be? The team behind it say: “Think board games, arcade machines, games consoles, live events – and great coffee!”

Play! Gaming Café would become a social hub of gaming. It would include free-to-play video games consoles, arcade cabinets, and an extensive collection of board games all under one roof.

Meet the team

Experienced gamers and newbies would be welcome. Photographs: Play!

Business partners Tim Henton and Kirsty Dodge are the creative forces behind Play! And it has already caught the interest of many locals and those further afield, with more than 650 likes on its Facebook page.

Now they are preparing a Kickstarter campaign to turn their plans into reality. That would launch on March 10, with an £11,000 target goal.

“The idea for Play! has been floating around in the back of my mind for years,” said Tim, 28.

Tim Henton cooking up something for the gamers

“But it was my partner Kirsty’s work as a café supervisor that made the dream seem attainable. We’ve been blown away by the local support we’ve received so far and are looking forward to launching our campaign.”

Passion for games

‘It’s a dream come true…’ Kirsty Dodge

Kirsty is a supervisor at Café No 8. After three years as store manager for Rafi’s Spice Box in York Tim recently made the move to work at Cafe No. 8 in order to learn more about the hospitality trade.

Kirsty said:

After working in a cafe, I soon realised I wanted to help Tim achieve his dream.

My passion for games stems from playing them at a young age, so it’s a dream come true to bring both nostalgia and my work together as one.

Whether you are a hardened gamer or someone new to the scene, Play! would be aim to be equally welcoming. The café plans to offer great coffee, food and refreshments for its customers, prepared by the team.

Backers’ rewards

Card and board games would complete the picture

The cafe aims to regularly host gaming evenings, tournaments and themed events such as a weekly Pokemon Centre and ‘Magic: The Gathering’ draft.

The menu at Play! will be a mix of affordable snacks for those looking to graze as they play, and proper home cooked meals created by Tim.

No location for the cafe has yet been disclosed, although it would be in the city centre.

The Kickstarter campaign will launch with a number of backer rewards, including a chance to get on the backer ‘Wall of Fame’, an exclusive Play! T-shirt, and a ‘Backers’ Card’ which comes with lifetime membership to the venue.

Kirsty added: “We will be seeking funding elsewhere for the café equipment etc. but all the money raised from our Kickstarter will be going towards the gaming equipment and other fun additions to the café.”