What's a Board Game Cafe?
A Board Game Cafe is a unique space where you can interact with friends and make new ones without screens getting in the way. At The Ludoquist you will sit back and enjoy a locally roasted coffee or locally brewed beer, along with a nice meal or snack. We will have a menu of games that you can choose from, or you can just browse our 700+ games collection. If you're unsure what you want to play, we can help you choose and teach you most of our games if you don't know the rules.
We're going to be on the High Street, so you'll be welcome to curl up on a sofa for a coffee, cocktails, or food. If you want to play games with us, there will be a £3 charge to play as long as you want. We will be open 11am till 11pm most days, and from 10am at the weekend.
Do you mean Monopoly and Backgammon?
Well, yes. We'll have lots of copies of all the classic games - Chess, Cluedo, Mahjong, Scrabble. But we'll also have lots of modern games, where you work with your friends to save the world, or against them to rob a train. You might like the idea of lying to your friends about who the village werewolf is, or rolling dice to see who the best monster is. Into Game of Thrones or Star Wars, Harry Potter or Fallout? We have games that cover all those too.
We're going to try to have the very best copies of games - so we have Small World Designer Edition and the Catan 3D Edition. We're hoping to get special editions of Scrabble and Monopoly, as well as a great marble chess set and clocks if the Kickstarter goes well. You can see our current list of games here.
You mentioned food and drink?
We're very focused on making sure that when people sit down with us, they're not just playing great games, but eating and drinking well too. Our coffee is Volcano Works, roasted in Brixton. We'll be using their Mount Blend. We'll be selling craft beers, brewed in Croydon, Brixton, and maybe even farther afield!
For food, of course we'll have cafe snacks - brownies and cakes - but we will also be providing proper healthy meals. We'll have specials of the day focusing on what we describe as Bowl Food - stews, curries, pastas - which can easily be eaten with a fork and not take up precious gaming space. We're also planning to have pizzas for nice easy meals.
You keep saying we?
We're a family cafe. Nick is a complete gaming nerd, and would be happy surrounded by boxes of games piled high and nothing else. He's going to look after all the game aspect of things, teaching and training. Carrie isn't so much a gamer, but is a brilliant cook, and understands food, drink, and hospitality. Faith, our daughter, understands all the social media thingummy wotsit bits (and made our video above). Between us, with our different interests, we plan to make a place that is excellent in every part.
And it's going to be in Croydon?
Yes, Croydon. We love Croydon. It's full of vibrant startups and interesting street art. We've got Boxpark, Matthew's Yard, tech hubs, workspaces...we've fallen in love with Croydon. Particularly the bit we're going to be in, just off the 600 year old Surrey Street market on the High Street.
And Croydon is *really* easy to get to from all over - we will be 25 minutes from Victoria or London Bridge, 30 minutes from Brighton or Shoreditch. Buses also converge on us, with 5 routes stopping just outside our door. We'll be a 5-10 minute walk from East Croydon and West Croydon train stations, right about here.
So, tell us about the venue
We're taking over a pizza restaurant which is in great shape. We need to decorate it a bit, and move things around, but nothing structural.
There will be shelf after shelf of games to play - over 700 of them - and we'll also have a little shop area. We're really excited that we're going to have a small reading area for when you're waiting for your friends. We'll have a bunch of graphic novels, old fighting fantasy books, and RPG manuals to read onsite.
To start with we're going to have 3 bespoke hexagonal tables as a homage to Catan, which started the modern board game revolution.
We've been working on The Ludoquist for a long time. We have premises selected, and our contractors are about to start work on them. We've got all the permissions and licences we need (including for alcohol). We're ready to go.
But we want The Ludoquist to be fabulous, and that's where you come in. Kickstarter funds will enable us to fill the last gaps in our collection, and do some final flourishes on our fitout. Finally, of course, we want to allow our fans to show their support and create a starting membership.
Well, you get the warm feeling of helping an exciting project get off the ground, and helping to build our community. All backers will be immortalised on our website, and will get early access during our training week.
Of course, we also have various rewards for our backers. You can combine awards by simply adding the appropriate amount to your pledge. If you want a 'Limited' reward - royalty, or naming parts of the cafe - please ensure you select that reward and then add appropriate amounts to that.
There are only a small amount of these, and they have to go on a first-come first-served basis. Mainly these are a bit of fun. If you want a 'Limited' reward - royalty, or naming parts of the cafe - please ensure you select that reward and then add appropriate amounts to that if you want add-ons (Eg Mugs, T-shirts, etc).
Risks and challenges
We are very close to being ready to go. The lease is about to be signed, and then work will begin. While we have run a business before for 20 years, it was an IT support company, and running a games cafe will be a very different kettle of fish.
We've spent two years getting ready, training and investigating. We've also run games clubs, done test days and evenings, learnt about quality coffee - now we just want to get going!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (20 days)