With board games cafes on the rise, opening up all over the world, have you also noticed there still is no dedicated space in Newcastle? We did and we are doing something to change that!
Meeple Perk will be Newcastle’s first dedicated board games cafe offering a unique dining experience. How you ask? By housing a large games library, new to old, indie to mainstream; with knowledgeable and passionate staff who can recommend and demo those games whilst serving delicious tea and coffee in a relaxed environment. We aim to offer the highest quality food, sourced locally and prepared fresh in-house with our own hands, to give you the best gaming experience you can find this side of the Tyne. That is our dream for Meeple Perk.
But what will make us different from the pub around the corner where your games group currently meets? Because we want to support you, our local community, whilst also spreading the joy of board gaming to everyone! We hope to be a gateway, bringing new members into the fold and showing people a great way to turn off from the digital world we live in, put down the mobile phones and enjoy the comfort of a warm beverage, the company of friends and the pleasure of a board game.
We cannot do this alone! We need you to help support us so we can make Meeple Perk a reality. We have achieved all we are able to do ourselves and we just need you to push us over the edge to completion, and to do that we’re asking you to back us so we can fill our venue with the best board games currently available!
A board game cafe enables people of all ages to play games at a table, with one another, instead of using a television, computer, arcade or smartphone. It is a space for anyone who enjoys or has an interest in, tabletop games to unwind in an environment designed to cater to their hobbies.
Although like most venues a board games cafe will serve food and drinks, the main attraction is the board games library. An extensive collection of tabletop games for everyone to play in-house with like-minded individuals. For those who maybe don’t know anything about tabletop games, these cafes also have experts to assist in finding the perfect game, getting set up and playing in no time at all!
We plan to open Meeple Perk currently with a games library 100 games strong, not including donations from friends and family of ours, some from our personal collection but also from various board game companies who have kindly donated some games to us. This is just to start! Over time we'll add to the game library to keep it fresh and up-to-date!
Rhiannon Oxley (Founder of Meeple Perk & Coffee Addict)
I am an avid board gamer, preferring more interactive deduction games rather than anything too strategic, as I much prefer working in a team to win. I have a lot of previous experience having worked within the Food and Beverage industry for nine years and previously managing for two years a similar business which had a more overarching theme, advertising to the “geeky” community as a whole, but specialising in trading card games. I also enjoy taking part in role-playing, preferring dice over live action though I’d never rule it out, and casually play a number of trading card games such as Magic the Gathering and Weiss Schwarz.
As much as I love games my passions lies in food and drinks, specifically coffee. From my first barista role in a nightclub restaurant at 18, I have dreamt of opening my own cafe and producing delicious beverages paired with scrumptious pastries and cakes. After my time working in the hobby industry I realised what better partner is there to a carefully prepared coffee and a slice of delicious cake than a relaxing board game and so Meeple Perk was born!
Drew Gotobed (Founder of Meeple Perk & Board Games Addict)
I have always loved games, I own a large collection of tabletop games covering card games, board games, and roleplaying games. I was the chairman of Newcastle Gamers, a large and growing local game group that meets regularly.
I have assisted and run a variety of game demo days with Travelling Man, Newcastle City Library and various other events in order to spread my passion of board games. I've attended UK Games Expo 5 years in a row, three times as media, once just for myself and then this year I went and demoed one of the biggest games at the event.
I'm also an active member of the gaming community, always staying up to date with the latest news through podcasts, blogs and staying tuned to industry announcements.
With all that in mind, it's safe to say I'm a bit of a tabletop game addict and I can't wait to share my passion for games with you at Meeple Perk.
Additionally, I'm a tea drinker.
As shown above, we both have a passion for board games, experience in the industry and a dream to share that passion with everyone. So we thought if anyone is going to open a board games cafe in Newcastle, why not us? As well as our previous experience, we are also willing to dedicate ourselves to you, the community, building something the tabletop gamers of Newcastle can be proud to call their second home and recommend to their friends and family.
We have both are already committed to making this our full-time careers and begin working for ourselves, putting all our savings into this project because we want to dedicate our futures to doing something we can take pride in. Opening and growing our business, Meeple Perk.
Meeple Perk will be a place for everyone to come and hang out with their friends, drink incredible coffee (or tea) and play a relaxing game, all year round! We plan to run special event days, for example, themed games days, special competitions, maybe even a quiz night or two!
You might be thinking, how much is all this fun going to cost me? First and foremost, we’re a cafe, so you are always welcome to come and enjoy our food and drink at no additional cost. Should you wish to play a tabletop game, all we ask is you support Meeple Perk by paying a £3 per person cover charge.
This will give you full access to the Meeple Perk library for the rest of your visit and will also help to support the growth of the library and the business as a whole (as well as replacing any pieces which go missing or are damaged). We will have a maximum seating period for any customer of 3 hours, however, on quieter days you’re welcome to stay as long as you please. On busier days you will be notified by a member of staff with plenty of time to finish your drinks and pack up your game.
Don’t want to pay that pesky fee every time you come play games? Well then, why not look at our membership? For just £25, you’ll enjoy 6 months of UNLIMITED gaming at Meeple Perk (Members will still be subject to the time limit, which again may be waived during non-busy periods).
I want to organise a visit but I’m worried there won’t be any tables available? We have you covered with our advance table reservation system! We will have a small number of tables which can be reserved for you and up to 5 of your friends (6 players total)! Reserving a table will be £15 for the whole group total, no additional cover charge costs to be paid! And if that group consists of at least one member that fee will be discounted to just £12.
We have raised as much money as we can ourselves, and although we’re almost there the funds from this campaign will help us make Meeple Perk and reality with a smooth opening! We will be using the funding to help build the up board games library, improve equipment and facilities at our chosen location, and be able to throw an amazing Opening Launch Party! If we are unsuccessful, fear not, we're still going to push forward to try and bring Meeple Perk to Newcastle but with your help, we can make it everything we all dreamed of a board game cafe in Newcastle!
After a lot of location hunting and many property viewings, we have settled on a location in Newcastle upon Tyne, City Centre. It will be within 5 - 10 minutes of metro stops, with local bus links being just as close, if not closer! We are doing everything we can to get the lease signed as quickly as possible so we can announce the location of the cafe!
More details regarding the location will become available as the project continues.
In regards to opening times, we'd be looking at opening 12pm-9/10pm Tuesday - Friday and 10am-10pm Saturday and Sunday. However, this isn't set in stone at the moment and is liable to change over time as we see what the demand is.
If you are as excited as we are about the project and want to get in touch you can contact us via our Facebook page or email:
There's just a couple of people that we'd like to thank for helping us get to where we are today. Truly without these people, we'd not have been able to make it to Kickstarter:
Billy Amann - Logo Design
Callum Wood - Kickstarter Video Cameraman
John Gotobed - Audio Tech
Liam Slack - Music
Robert Laverick - Transport/Key Grip
James Eagleton - Kickstarter Video Star
Megan Ramsay - Kickstarter Video Star
Nyssa Oxley - Kickstarter Video Star
Toni Barber - Kickstarter Video Star
We were featured in The Chronicle and printed in The Journal!
Drew has been on BBC Radio Newcastle interviewed about Meeple Perk, check out the interview below -
The Hearty Dice Friends featured us on episode 77 of their podcast, check out a snippet from the show -
After we reached our goal The Chronicle has done another newstory on Meeple Perk.
Due to requests that we've had from some of you who have backed the colour deeds, we've decided to add the 6-month memberships as an add-on for anyone on these pledge levels.
We're also going to add our special Kickstarter exclusive t-shirts as an add-on for any backer who isn't already receiving one!
If you wish to take advantage of either, please increase your pledge by £25 (or £50 for both) and at the end of the campaign, we will send you a reward survey to confirm your order!
For example, at the colour deed level, if you wanted to add membership or t-shirt, your pledge would £60 or for both, you'd want to increase to £85. This must be done prior to the end of the Kickstarter!
Risks and challenges
Drew and I (Rhi) have poured our savings and our futures in the creation of Meeple Perk, so it goes without saying that there is a lot of risk involved in the opening of a venture of this kind. We’ve spent almost every hour of every day for the past two years fully fleshing out the business plan - researching new games, contacting suppliers, building menus and library games lists as well as visiting properties and meeting contractors. At this time we’ve both left our current careers, and are fully dedicating ourselves to making Meeple Perk a reality because we know we are very close to our end goal, that first opening day.
We currently have our solicitor negotiating a lease agreement for a location in the City Centre. With that in mind, we do have to accept the risk that negotiations could stop and the landlord could decide not to lease to us the location, however, we currently do not see the likelihood of this occurring.
With your help and support we can lessen the risk and also guarantee an amazing games library and a comfortable and inviting cafe space, so please check out our social media and share our project with your friends and family.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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