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Subject: Liverpool Lion Boardgamers; A new venue for a 10 year old group rss

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Paul Oakes
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This thread is purely to discuss and vote on our options for where we intend to meet in the future. Any other posts about our group please use our site

https://boardgamegeek.com/article/23627593#23627593


We moved to The Railway as an emergency measure when The Cross Keys closed and anywhere that was suitable would suffice. We've had time to consider what we need from a venue and scout some of the options, so I'd like to encourage some discussion and then we can vote. Our two previous moves have had obvious best choices, this time it's not obvious what venue would be the most satisfactory for the majority, so participation is useful.

When it gets to the voting stage the eligibile members are people who have been to at least 1 meeting and are expecting to be along again in the next 3 months.

I'll copy various posts on this issue that are on the main forum, but here's a quick list of places that we haven't ruled out - all have suitable tables, acceptable lighting and are convenient for parking, trains and buses.


The Railway: if you're happy where we are that's fine.

Lady of Mann: huge room, only cold food.

Rigby's: need to see if they will reserve tables for us. Excellent food.

Cornmarket: huge room, basic pub food.

Also suggested but no research done so far is Ma Egerton's (by St. Nick's Church) - all we know is they have a room, no idea when they close on Monday or if it's big enough, well lit or the tables are useable. Someone has to call in if they want this to be an option. The Grove in Seel Street is also possible, and Stuart will have a look to check things out.

There's nothing to stop other places being considered, but I am not volunteering to go round a series of pubs to see if they want us - if you prefer somewhere else please check they will reserve tables every Monday, they're open on Mondays, until 11.00, the tables and lighting are useable and there's car parking in the area.
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Paul Oakes
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solove wrote:
Just remembered that I hadn't given my thoughts on the pub choices

PaulinTheLion wrote:
So far I've visited 3 pubs where we could hold the meetings in future.

Rigby's in Dale Street has a large back room with space for 7 games. Lighting is good, 5 tables are large enough for any game we play regularly, the food is excellent but at the expensive end of The Railway's menu. The only likely issue is the television in the room on football nights. I want to speak to Fiona who runs the place to see if we can have it reserved for us, and it's only going to be an issue when Everton or Liverpool are playing on a Monday.

Rigby's was excellent. The room is separate from the main pub and the tables seemed large enough for most games and can be pushed together for larger.

Quote:
The Lady of Mann is over the courtyard behind Rigby's and is split into two rooms by a stairway. The back area is huge and deserted, but the lighting might be a problem - it varies between tables. Food is cold platters, we would be back to being the only customers most evenings.


Wasn't too impressed with this. The lighting seemed poor and the guy behind the bar (manager?) never seemed to want to sell the place to us. The gist seemed to be we could use the room until football brought too many people into the pub in which case we'd have a problem.

Quote:
The Cornmarket is in an unnamed alley off Fenwick Street. There's a room at the back which would be ideal for us - huge, good lighting, useable tables, I don't remember what food was available. Yards from James Street Station, so good for the Wirral members.


Another decent location, near to James Street (for our Wirral attendees). The space was host to a club while we were there and seemed large enough to cope with our numbers. I never saw the menu but there is food.
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Paul Oakes
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PaulinTheLion wrote:
The new Meetup Liverpool games group met in The Lady of Mann last Thursday, and the lighting seemed better than on our visit, with plenty of tables well lit but a few gloomy ones. It's important to mention how big this room is, at least twice the size we need. Food was cheese or cold meat, which they stopped serving at 7.00 for no apparent reason - it was still there and there was no cooking needed. The lack of reservations is unlikely to be a problem in such a large, quiet pub, and if we select it as our haunt we would be in a strong position to get them arranged once we get established.
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Paul Oakes
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PaulinTheLion wrote:
So far I've visited 3 pubs where we could hold the meetings in future.

Rigby's in Dale Street has a large back room with space for 7 games. Lighting is good, 5 tables are large enough for any game we play regularly, the food is excellent but at the expensive end of The Railway's menu. The only likely issue is the television in the room on football nights. I want to speak to Fiona who runs the place to see if we can have it reserved for us, and it's only going to be an issue when Everton or Liverpool are playing on a Monday.

The Lady of Mann is over the courtyard behind Rigby's and is split into two rooms by a stairway. The back area is huge and deserted, but the lighting might be a problem - it varies between tables. Food is cold platters, we would be back to being the only customers most evenings.

The Cornmarket is in an unnamed alley off Fenwick Street. There's a room at the back which would be ideal for us - huge, good lighting, useable tables, I don't remember what food was available. Yards from James Street Station, so good for the Wirral members.

Also with me were Eva and James, their observations will hopefully follow.

On Monday I'll call in Ma Boyles and see if it's suitable.The Crown on Lime Street has not always been reliable with room bookings I've been told, so it's not a place I want to consider.

Please visit these pubs so you can make an informed decision on where you spend (hopefully) a lot of Monday evenings.
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Paul Oakes
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It might be useful to list places that are already ruled out.

Ship & Mitre: our previous venue, they don't honour bookings, they didn't regard this as a problem.

Vernon, Excelsior: busy early evening, football.

Pig and Whistle: small tables.

All Bar One, Gladstone, DCBC: expensive.

Crown Hotel: other groups have had problems with reservations.
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James Cheevers
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If we stay at the Railway I see problems if we have larger numbers turning up.

Also there's been issues with food on more than one occasion now. People who don't get the chance to eat before arriving need some consistency.

The lighting isn't great and was the main reason (that and the heat in the pub) for my early departure yesterday as my eyes were straining before 10pm.
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simon thornton
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The lighting really nails it as to why the Railway is not an ideal long term solution, particularly once the night comes in, IMHO.
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simon miles
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I agree the Railway is not sutible long term.
Rigbys is a good bet and gets my vote....providing they will reserve the space in the back for us.
My only slight concern about Rigbys is outgrowing it quickly as our numbers have sometimes hit mid twentys.
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Dan Thorpe
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Any consideration for a venue that might get the best passerby interest to further the growth of the group?

Also I know ive mentioned it before, and ive completely forgotten what the opinion was. But what was the opinion of the Scythe and Teacup? I dont mean to bring it up again, just couldnt find this place in your rejected list?
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Paul Oakes
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Dlthorpe wrote:
Any consideration for a venue that might get the best passerby interest to further the growth of the group?

Also I know ive mentioned it before, and ive completely forgotten what the opinion was. But what was the opinion of the Scythe and Teacup? I dont mean to bring it up again, just couldnt find this place in your rejected list?


My view is The Scythe is a feasible venue, so isn't rejected, but we would need assurances over reserved tables. It has the advantage of being a very cheap night (they aren't very demanding on how much needs to be spent on food and drink). Against that there's no beer, the food isn't great and the room is not decorated like a Roccoco palace. As with everywhere else, if it's the popular choice we'll go there.

Passing strangers are a minor burden, not a source of players in my experience of 6 years in The Lion and about 20 more playing in other pubs. They're just curious, ask some questions and might promise to turn up in future. Twice in The Lion this resulted in someone playing games with us, one of them was players who already played Euros.

To be honest for the first time since we started the club I'm not bothered about getting more players. On a low turnout night we still have 3 games going, and we're likely to be around 5 games more often. This gives plenty of choice of games and a reasonable chance to get to know everyone which isn't the case with larger groups.
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simon thornton
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Quote:
Any consideration for a venue that might get the best passerby interest to further the growth of the group?


Bottom line , no. In the 10 years or so the group has been going I can think of literally one occasion when a passerby has joined in. She seemed to enjoy herself even won a game of Carcasonne but never returned. Everyone comes to us through a web search . Its only in the last few years we have been hidden away upstairs in cross keys for many years we were 'on show' in the Lion.

Quote:
Also I know ive mentioned it before, and ive completely forgotten what the opinion was. But what was the opinion of the Scythe and Teacup? I dont mean to bring it up again, just couldnt find this place in your rejected list?


The fondness of the core players for Beer and semi decent food. We have had special Lion events in the Scythe, nothing wrong with it per se . If the group moved to the Scythe on a Monday I suspect a small splinter group would break away and move to a pub.

There is a Thursday Boardgames group at the Scythe which I do attend regularly so I have nothing against it but even Id be inclined to join the splinter group.

Also restricts to adults only which has its own advantages in that we dont have to watch our P's and Q's.


Paul Booking tables at the Scythe is not a problem as they reserve tables for the Thursday group but Id prefer a pub for the Monday group myself.
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simon miles
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bluekingzog wrote:
Quote:
Any consideration for a venue that might get the best passerby interest to further the growth of the group?


Bottom line , no. In the 10 years or so the group has been going I can think of literally one occasion when a passerby has joined in. She seemed to enjoy herself even won a game of Carcasonne but never returned. Everyone comes to us through a web search . Its only in the last few years we have been hidden away upstairs in cross keys for many years we were 'on show' in the Lion.

Quote:
Also I know ive mentioned it before, and ive completely forgotten what the opinion was. But what was the opinion of the Scythe and Teacup? I dont mean to bring it up again, just couldnt find this place in your rejected list?


The fondness of the core players for Beer and semi decent food. We have had special Lion events in the Scythe, nothing wrong with it per se . If the group moved to the Scythe on a Monday I suspect a small splinter group would break away and move to a pub.

There is a Thursday Boardgames group at the Scythe which I do attend regularly so I have nothing against it but even Id be inclined to join the splinter group.

Also restricts to adults only which has its own advantages in that we dont have to watch our P's and Q's.


Paul Booking tables at the Scythe is not a problem as they reserve tables for the Thursday group but Id prefer a pub for the Monday group myself.
I myself find the Scythe abhorrent due partly to the lack of natural light and fluorescent tube lighting being nausea inducing.
The food is awful and it also has no airflow to help move the smell of the cooking out.
I could go on....
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Erik Downie
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simon miles
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laugh
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Stuart Boston
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PaulinTheLion wrote:
The Grove in Seel Street is also possible, and Stuart will have a look to check things out.


Stopped by this afternoon to take a look.
TL;DR - Not suitable.

The bar itself looks nice, but its very small, there are only a few small tables available and on a small turn out night we'd swamp the place.

No other room available.
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Paul Oakes
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Thanks for that Stuart and sorry for wasting your time - the website mentioned a function room.

Also on the not suitable list are the Croc and Baby Croc; small, live music on Monday...
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Stuart Boston
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Wasn't a waste of time if it crosses it off the list.

I specifically asked about a function room and there was not one available. Apparently it's been turned into their "head office".
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James Cheevers
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orcflesh wrote:
I myself find the Scythe abhorrent due partly to the lack of natural light and fluorescent tube lighting being nausea inducing.
The food is awful and it also has no airflow to help move the smell of the cooking out.
I could go on....


I go to the Scythe on Thursday's a couple of times a month, with friends mostly due to lack of options.

My thoughts:

Pro's
-----
It has tables

Con's
-----
Zero airflow - When it's hot, it's sweltering. When it's cold you need thick coats.
They run out of drinks, regularly.
Food is not great.
Can be really loud (see Craig)
The management has no interest in improving things
Craig
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Dan Thorpe
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Agree with all that really. We moved our Sunday netrunner from Scythe to JustPlay for most of those Cons too. I always enjoyed a burger tho
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David Dennis
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I would be one of those against the Scythe due to lack of beer.

Are we setting an deadline for the vote?
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Paul Oakes
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I didn't want to set a voting deadline, I prefer to let events set the pace. So if numbers pick up and fitting into The Railway is a problem, or it seems most people have the same preference or there's been little further comment here for a while then that would be a good point to ask for votes.

Again, I stress that spending 10 minutes before the start of a Monday meeting looking in at Rigby's, The Lady of Mann and The Cornmarket will give you more information about these rooms than any amount of description here. People who don't vote don't get to complain about the new place.
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David Dennis
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Thanks Paul. That was precisely the reason I was asking about the deadline. To see how long I had to check out the venues.
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Paul Oakes
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I went to The Baltic Fleet to look at the upstairs room we have been offered for our meetings. This came about after the manager came to The Railway to see us. Also there is Jay from The Cross Keys who works at The Baltic, and he was behind this development.

The room is about the size of the Cross Keys, but without all the chairs and small tables around the perimeter it has a lot more useable tables. The tables are large and rectangular, most games would fit on a single table. Lighting was on the dim side but better than The Railway - it was night when I went. They would fit brighter bulbs or more lights if this was a problem.

The pub doesn't do food, but would make a stew or something similar if enough of us were interested on a regular basis.

Parking in the residential streets nearby should be no problem (I will check this out). The bus station is 2 minutes walk, James Street 5 and Moorfields 10.

The beer is a big step up in choice and quality, at typical Town prices.

Overall the only issues are the extra travel to Lime Street (bus or James Street train saves the walk) and food. The significant plus point is they have approached us, know what we need and are keen to have us there.

Less happily I am still to talk to the manager of Rigby's despite 2 visits this week (I have seen him, but a funeral wasn't appropriate for this). One of the staff didn't think we would be given the reservations we need because of Monday football (which makes no sense I know as it's only Liverpool and Everton games that will get the numbers), and another group meet some Mondays - she didn't know how much of the room they need. She took our details but I've not had any calls from them.

As it would be an excellent venue I'll continue trying to see if something can be organised.
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Paul Oakes
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I think we're ready to vote on where we're going to hold our meetings in future. This is my suggested process, but anything can be altered if people don't like the proposal.

Voting on this forum, only.
Voting closes 6PM Tuesday 4th October.
Votes can be changed up to the deadline.
Transferable votes - if the votes are split several ways the top 2 choices are in a showdown, people who voted for the other choices can switch their vote.

There's no official list of places up for selection, if you want to vote for the bus shelter opposite The Railway you can. Here's the viable places that have been mentioned so far, with the main issues - read the rest of this thread for more details.

The Railway.
Rigby's - still trying to see if they will reserve tables.
Lady of Mann. No reservations needed in huge, empty room. Cold food.
The Cornmarket - not spoken to manager yet, no obvious problems.
Baltic Fleet. Currently no food. Will arrange things to our requirements.
Ma Egerton's. Has anyone visited it yet? Closing time.
Scythe & Teacup. No beer, grim room but a cheap night.

So there's 2 weeks to vote, and talking about the options at meetings looks a good idea.

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James Cheevers
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The Baltic Fleet could be a good option, especially if they don't mind people bringing sandwiches as it would save them messing around especially for us. It'd be handy for the Wirral bunch and lifts could be arranged for anyone else in need.

I'd be happier with a venue that wants us there rather than a Ship & Mitre situation where we get bumped at a moments notice because of a handshake agreement made in 1973 that the space can be used by a harmonica club when they decide to get together every 6 or 7 months.
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