Board in the City – A New Gaming Venue for Southampton – Opening Date Announced!

Late last year we reported on a Kickstarter for a gaming cafe in Southampton. Things have gone well for them, because in a matter of weeks the Board in the City CIC Gaming Cafe will open its doors for the first time! Yes, from Saturday the 5th of March, they’ll be open for you to pop down and play some games while enjoying some high quality food and drink, in a spacious, newly renovated premises.

So how’s it been going for them over the last few months? Well, they’ve been busy alright! Here’s what they’ve been up to:

They’ve put up their website.

It’s still very simple, but the BitC website offers you an insight into each of the main team members, as well as their mission statement:

“Opening soon in the heart of Southampton will be BOARD IN THE CITY CIC, the first dedicated board-gaming cafe in the city, where we will offer gamers of all ages and experience the opportunity to play a huge selection of games with the assistance of our knowledgeable and friendly staff. Great quality food and drink will be available to help you keep up the energy to deal with trolls and marauding alien armies!”



They’ve secured a great venue.

Southampton locals will remember it as the Dorchester Arms, but soon it will be a big purple gaming centre! The site of the new cafe is 38-40 Onslow Road, Southampton, and that address should give you an idea of the size! There will be plenty of room for gaming, and the fact that it used to be a pub means it’s perfectly suited for serving food and drink.


They’ve been working with other local businesses to get up and running.12572991_741163519351749_5575584403981564343_n

That ‘CIC’ in the name stands for ‘Community Interest Company’, which means that they’ll be putting 65% of their profits back into the local community – chiefly into schools and youth groups, where they’ll aim to lend support to after-school clubs and the like with hosting and teaching games – but they’ve started in that spirit by pumping a load of their startup cash into local businesses who have in turn been helping them get off the ground with generous discounts and the like! They’ve been working with Nisbets Catering Equipment and Char Teas to get their cafe up and running, and they’ve received very generous help with furnishings from Ocean World Travel. It’s a community thing! And while we’re not exactly local to them, Chaos Cards has been helping them stock up on their board games, and we can confirm that by the time they open they’re going to have a very good selection indeed! (We know what they’ve been buying – it’s all great stuff!)

They’ve been decorating like crazy.

The interior of the building has been completely ripped out and is getting refitted with brand new furnishings! It’s going to be very smart when it’s ready!

They’ve been hiring dedicated, experienced staff.

They’re not fooling around – BitC will have a dedicated barista and two chefs alongside their gaming experts! We are assured that their chefs have had their cooking skills rigorously tested, and their work has been confirmed to be delicious!

They’ve been organising a Launch Party on Friday the 4th of March!

Before the opening day on the 5th, they’re holding an evening pre-opening launch night, giving you a chance to be the first to sample their ‘fantastic menu designed by [their] brilliant young chefs’, and to try out an original murder mystery board game designed by one of their own directors! The food and a complimentary drink will be included in the bargain £7.50 ticket price, but you need to buy a ticket in advance and numbers are limited, so be sure to grab yours asap!

12471758_734861003315334_7846720690595166926_oAnd even while they’re doing all this, they’re still organising community events!

On the 13th of February, BitC held their latest GIANT board game session, running games of Giant Takenoko at Southampton city Art Gallery for FREE! They’ve done several of these giant gaming sessions in the past, most recently with Settlers of Catan. Hopefully they won’t be too busy with the cafe to run some more – we’ve not managed to get to one yet!

Board in the City CIC Gaming Cafe officially opens on Saturday 5th March; if you go along, be sure to send in any photos and let us know what you think!


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