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Board game café with vegan twist could open in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 15:37 06 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:37 06 February 2020

Sam Whitehouse will be opening a board game and vegan cake cafe on St Benedicts Street. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Sam Whitehouse will be opening a board game and vegan cake cafe on St Benedicts Street. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Archant

A new type of café could open in Norwich with something of a monopoly over its trade - a board game café.

Sam Whitehouse is opening a board game cafe called Slice and Dice in the former Fire and Flux store on St Benedicts. Picture: Ella WilkinsonSam Whitehouse is opening a board game cafe called Slice and Dice in the former Fire and Flux store on St Benedicts. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Sam Whitehouse, who started Slice and Dice as a pop-up business last year, has earmarked a former pottery studio on St Benedicts Street as a permanent home for the business, which she hopes to open in spring.

A concept 29-year-old Ms Whitehouse came across while living in London, board game cafés allow groups to pay for access to a wide selection of board games with staff on hand to help them learn rules and serve drinks and food.

Ms Whitehouse has lodged a bid with Norwich City Council to take on the former Fire and Flux Ceramics, which has relocated to Lower Goat Lane, having received positive feedback from pop-up sessions she has hosted.

She said: "People have enjoyed the pop-up cafés so much that it tells me there is an appetite for it in Norwich. I hadn't really come across board game cafés until I moved to London. When I moved back two-and-a-half years or so ago I really missed them, so thought I'd go about setting one up of my own.

Sam Whitehouse will be opening a new gaming and cake cafe on St Benedicts Street. Picture: Ella WilkinsonSam Whitehouse will be opening a new gaming and cake cafe on St Benedicts Street. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

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"I've held pop-up cafés at places like Studio 20 and Merchants House and it got to the point that people were having to book in advance to attend, so I started to look for somewhere permanent."

The café will see Ms Whitehouse make scores of games available for customers to play, from classic favourites like Monopoly, Connect 4 and Scrabble to newer, independently-produced games for players to discover.

"In Norwich, we have lots of shops that allow people to play long, intense games, but this would offer something a different," she added. "Being able to play more chilled, relaxed games in a nice setting is something people have responded to quite a bit and I hope to offer."

A new board game and cake cafe is coming to St Benedicts Street, pictured is owner Sam Whitehouse. PIcture Ella WilkinsonA new board game and cake cafe is coming to St Benedicts Street, pictured is owner Sam Whitehouse. PIcture Ella Wilkinson

On top of the gaming offering, Ms Whitehouse said the café would serve vegan food, predominantly cakes, while also catering to those needing gluten-free options.

She said: "I'm a vegan myself, so I thought if I was to be serving food and drink it should be things I would like to eat myself."

Norwich City Council will decide the application in due course.


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