Everyone loves a board game and what’s better than getting a little competitive with your pals of an evening? Bean Gaming launched on Silver Street in 2018, offering a social space to play, socialise, eat and drink. The perfect first date venue, a family afternoon spot or just a fun night with friends. We caught up with owner Terry Buckley to find out more about the venue and their plans.
Bean Gaming opened in Leicester in 2018, how have you found things since launching in the city?
Leicester is a diverse, engaging and welcoming city with a great mix of unique energies that we are only just starting to tap into. We always wanted to help build communities, make friends, create safe spaces for everyone and really provide a home away from home, so to speak. We have been blown away by the support, love and generosity that has been shown to us during the ups and downs of starting a new business.
How would you describe Bean Gaming for someone who’s never visited?
It’s closer to a living room than a traditional restaurant or café. Our message is simple, “relax, stay as long as you want, and make some stories”. I find that there are very few places where everyone can enjoy themselves together, from pre-schooler to pensioner, and we are so proud to offer just that. It’s a fantastic albeit strange environment at times, in no other restaurant have I seen people leap from their chair in joy and laughter and no one bats an eyelid! It’s such fun to see and definitely a unique and loving space.
Board games and similar activities have seen a huge rise in popularity, why do you think this is?
I think games provide the best excuse to come together, they’re a focal point for sharing time, a way to interact face to face and reconnect. With the boom in games design, there is something for everyone and something to illicit every emotion, from giggles to tears, from cooperation to back stabbing. Society is fragmenting and deep down we all want good company. Board games give us just that.
What do you guys have planned for over the summer holidays?
This is our first summer and we’re planning things in all the time. Parent Break and STEM will take place every Thursday, and we have a lovely lady called Sim Mystry supported by SF_Stem that turn a simple parent break into an opportunity to enjoy actual learning activities that support Key Stage development targets. This is really exciting for us and the energy that Sim and the SF team bring is incredible.
The next big event to check out is Dungeons and Dragons, so you can escape reality for a while!
For everyone who’s looking for fun this summer, join our community on Facebook, check out the website and help us build something special. We still have plenty of fun events to announce.
You also offer great food & drink to add into the experience, what can customers enjoy when they’re with you?
Bean belongs to everyone, so we’re often tweaking the menu after taking on customer feedback and requests. In fact it was only 2 weeks ago that we launched into a separate vegan menu due to popular demand. So while you can always count on our fantastic and customizable pizzas which we make fresh to order and certain other staples, everything remains dynamic! Right now, I would recommend you check out our gorgeous boozy Baileys trifle (created by my mum) or a retro fish finger sandwich! Then grab yourself a Health Potion at the Alchemist’s Cocktail Bar, and maybe finish with a fine artisan coffee lovingly made by our resident expert, Gianluca.
How supportive do you find Leicester as a community?
Leicester really is a wide community which thrives on individuality and has really helped us to grow and develop as a business. The volunteers, the connections, the donations, its restored my faith in society. Yet, of course, there is always more to be done, so much work still uncomplete and still so many other groups to work with and share journeys. We’ve come a long way in 6 months and there are a lot more quirky and wonderful individuals waiting to help us grow even stronger in the next 6 months.
What are some of your favorite games you have at Bean?
The impossible question! This changes so often and depends so much on the group and the mood. Right now, my smallest (age 4) is obsessed with the more traditional games, Guess Who, Jenga, Catch the Moon and Twister! My pre-teen can’t get enough strategy or D&D. Whether it’s chess, Star Wars Rebellion, or pretending to be a warrior in some far away land! But personally, for me, it’s the games that let me blow off steam and laugh the hardest with, or more accurately, AT, my friends! It’s games of shifting alliances, secret identities and porky pies. Although I was recently introduced to Carrom by a lovely Indian family that came in and wow, that has had us all being a wee bit competitive for a while now! If you haven’t played, come down and check it out!
Do people need to book or can you just walk in?
We do encourage bookings at the weekend as it can get really busy and we hate to turn people away when we can avoid it. We also have some events that are pre-booked or ticketed. These will be posted on our website and Facebook page but otherwise, absolutely please just drop in, even if you ignore the games and just want a nice space with a good cuppa.
What else is coming up for Bean Gaming for us to look forward to?
The near future is really about more events and building more and more social interaction. We want to get Leicester playing together, eating together and sharing together. So definitely watch out for Murder Mysteries, Quizzes, Organised Play, Mega Games and I can’t say what, but there is something HUGE coming! Alas, it’s a secret right now, so you’d better watch this space!
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