Thursday, 11 June 2015

Episode IV - A New Hope

Episode VI - A New Hope

So today I got to have a chat in person with Jamie​ at Athena Games, had a look at Jurnets bar and talk with Jherek over a coke, and finally stuck my nose into St Stephens and the City Centre Games evening and a quick chat with the guys there.

So Athena was great - it has oodles of space and Jamie was a real friendly stand up guy who was clearly keen to give us space and let us do our thing. And if it promotes gaming all round, then this can only be a good thing for a gaming store ! For those with misgivings about this I would really recommend you go check Athena out and possibly talk to Jamie, it's a good offer and we have a lot to synergise with there.

The cons to this are of course no beer. And parking is, eh, a little tricky. But not entirely impossible.

In the spirit of trying everything out - the Great NoBoG Game Crawl - I have pencilled in us turning up to Athena en masse on the 23rd June. I would really recommend everyone give it a go - particularly if you are on the fence or have misgivings. This is what the tryout is all about right ?

Seating : Oodles. 200 ?
Refreshments : Simple snacks and drinks. More planned. Full bar possible as a future plan.
Parking : Tricky
Closes : 10.30pm

Moving on.

Jurnets as it turns out is something of a sleepy bar / club type thing ( at least when I was there ) owned by the City Council, and has what I found to be a fantastic space, and again another really friendly and helpful soul - Jherek​ who was enthusiastic about trying to help us out to find a place to game.

First impressions were pretty amazing tbh - the space is great, the tables are good, and off the top of my head we can all fit in, by and large in one space. It also has free parking and serves beer, coffee, snacks.

This ticks a lot of consensus boxes. But it's not without cons.

The first con is that Jurnets is closed for the summer, every summer. Basically the six weeks holidays it shuts, so for that period we would have to go elsewhere - or, hire the place out at £100 a pop.

The second con is that once a month on Tuesdays we would clash with a poetry group which wouldn't work. So we'd probably have to move to Thursdays. Thursdays look pretty good on the calendar as far as Jurnets is concerned. Or some other day. Or change every fourth week. Or something !

The Third con is that there is a membership fee. £3 a *year*. Which amounts to 6 pence a week. Until October this is actually free - so no fee for a year. On the other hand, some of the bar prices are cheaper. I neglected to ask the policy about one off visitors and whether they'd need a membership or what. Or further details on how this works - I think some nights they are free ? I'm not sure.

Then some borderline cons. The lighting is definitely dark. Although Jherek said they could maybe replace some bulbs and lighten the place up a bit.

The place closes up at 11pm. Which is kinda what we do now, but probably a deal more strict.

It's a limited bar - don't expect full on huge ranges of everything.

All in all Jurnets is close to what we need with some caveats. Of course. It would be far too easy otherwise.

Seating : 50-60 ish ?
Refreshments : Snacks, beer, soft drinks. Cheaper than a regular pub.
Parking : Excellent - free and on site.
Closes : 11pm ( 10.30pm on Tuesdays, but this has only recently changed from 11pm because the place is so quiet.... )

Lastly I popped into St Stephens and had a quick chat with the guys there. Again a friendly bunch, and I have to say, if you are interested in gaming, really go check them out, it's a lovely space and a relaxed atmosphere.

Serious cons for St Stephens are that they are far too busy to do much more than a once a month gaming session, they close at 10pm, and again, no beer for those that are into their beer.

There was talk about arranging some crossover events, or doing something, and getting everyone gaming, which sounds like a good idea, but I think ultimately St Stephens is just too busy to accommodate a weekly gaming session.

Seating : 100 ?
Refreshments : Tea, snacks, future chili nights !
Parking : Adequate, standard council paid parking around.
Closes : 10pm

This is by no means the end of discussion about possible venues et al, just a report on what I found out today.

Giving Jurnets a go at some point after the 23rd should be on our to do list I think.

Pics of Jurnets and car parking area.


StuartG said...

I'm all up for giving Athena a try (although I don't think I can make it on 23rd).

One question - can we bring our own beer/wine?


Hal said...

Over on Facebook, Jamie from Athena said they would try letting people bring their own alcohol on the 23rd, and see how it goes.

Hal said...

Over on Facebook, Jamie from Athena said they would try letting people bring their own alcohol on the 23rd, and see how it goes.

Dean Jones said...

Jurnets looks ace!

Also... I am pretty much good for wherever it ends up, as long as there is room for all to play.

Which one has the widest open space? The biggest issue I thought with The Ribs of Beef was that the tables were pretty small, and there was often the issue with having to squeeze past people in and out of games. Jurnets looks quite open from the pics (and parking is definitely good... I struggled slightly the couple of times I came down) but what are the others like?

Also... I am unfortunately abroad until Sep... but look forward to coming back and joining in properly week to week. I will be able to bring some games myself then too!