Video game cafe to open on St Benedict’s Street in Norwich after being granted licence

A new video game cafe is to open in Norwich. Picture Jon Gage.

A new video game cafe is to open in Norwich. Picture Jon Gage. - Credit: Jon Gage

Video gaming cafe One Life Left is set to open on St Benedict's Street after being granted a licence by the city council.

Director of the business Jon Gage dealt with two complaints which brought him before the licensing sub committee by saying he was 'not aware of any public safety incidents associated with playing video games'.

One resident of Maude Grey Court said they were 'concerned disorderly behaviour may arise from excessive alcohol consumption coupled with a competitive gaming culture'.

They added: 'Disorderly behaviour especially when fuelled by alcohol and competitive rivalry could cause aggressive behaviour which may pose a threat to public safety.

'The noise from video games may also be audible outside the premises and cause a nuisance to customers of the adjoining health and well being centre.'

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But Mr Gage, 36, told the committee the business was 'not a bar or a club', and would limit sale of alcohol to evening opening hours. He also reduced the hours applied for to close at 9pm on weekdays and Sundays, and 11pm on Friday and Saturdays, with the exception of five days a year when closing time would be 2am.

'The best way to describe [the business] is a cafe shop with TVs on the tables where people can play video games while they have their snack,' he said.

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Mr Gage expects to open the cafe, next to the Farmyard restaurant, at the end of the month, and members on Tuesday unanimously granted a licence with conditions attached to minimise the impact on residents nearby.

'I would like to point out there have been many competitive gaming events held in venues around the country many times over the last few years,' he said. 'I am not aware of any incidents which have resulted from an event of this type.

'The stereotype of people playing video games are more introverted and less prone to crime or disorder.'

The complainant, Christine Way, who runs a nearby health and wellbeing centre, said she was 'not objecting to a cafe' and said her concerns had been addressed.

'It is my intention to operate my business in a way that doesn't adversely affect any resident in the area,' added Mr Gage.

No objections were made by the police or environmental health.

The cafe is expected to be open for over 18s only after 6pm to allow for alcohol sales.

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