'Unique' café with 250 plus board games to play will open soon
- Credit: Shuffle
An independent board games café will bring something different to Bury St Edmunds when it opens in the town centre.
Shuffle is being launched by Andrew Woolrich, currently manager of Cycle King in the town, and his business partner Chris Messenger in the unit opposite Tesco Express, which used to house Palmers homeware store.
They say Shuffle is like a regular café with food and drink, but will also be home to a library of more than 250 board games that people can play.
Shuffle, which is planned to open around November 15, will also be a retail outlet where people can buy board games.
With the hobby "growing and growing in popularity" as Mr Woolrich puts it, other board games cafes have been opening in the region, with one of the newest being Geek Retreat in Ipswich.
Mr Woolrich, who grew up in Ipswich, but now lives in Bury, said: "It's a relatively new concept.
"The hobby of board gaming is massively booming at the moment, and in the same way you would pay to go bowling or to the cinema you can pay and have access to masses of games."
As well as traditional board games like Monopoly and Scrabble, there will also be party-style trivia games that involve lots of people.
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Mr Woolrich said he only got into board games about two years ago, but it had really enriched his social life.
He said he would attend pub board games events, for example at the Bennet Arms at Rougham.
"It's a nice and social way to spend an evening. I feel there's a need for a designated space for that," added Mr Woolrich, who used to be into video games.
He said Shuffle was a great fit for the market town with its many independent businesses.
Mark Cordell, chief executive of the Bury St Edmunds Business Improvement District (BID), said: "It's always good to see new businesses opening and particularly when it's such a unique one, testing new boundaries in our town.
"I wish Andrew and the team all the very best with this venture!"
Mr Woolrich said they had applied for a premises licence to be able to serve alcohol.
He anticipates opening hours will be 12-10pm most days, with an 11pm finish on Fridays and Saturdays. Shuffle is planned to be closed on Mondays.
Work is steaming ahead to renovate the unit and get it ready for opening next month, with a staff team of about six or seven people.
The idea is visitors would pay per person per hour for access to the games library.
Other new businesses to join the town centre recently include House of Heritage in Garland Street.