‘Really gonna miss you guys…’ York’s first gaming café to close next month

A unique and special place… Photograph: Random Encounter on Instagram
13 May 2020 @ 10.53 pm
| Business

It was a first for York, and soon became a home-from-home for many.

But after two-and-a-half years, Random Encounter Pop Culture Café is calling it a day.

Owner Wes Hall announced his plans to sell up before he was forced to close the business due to the pandemic.

Photograph: Random Encounter on Facebook

He originally hoped to sell the Gillygate gaming café as a going concern, but current circumstances have meant there haven’t been any takers.

(If you’re interested you can read the details here.)

Now the plan is to reopen Random Encounter briefly as a shop to sell off its vast board and video game collection “as well as some other cool stuff”.

An unbelievable few years

The window display was always eye catching

Wes and partner Ellen launched the café in 2017 after a Kickstarter campaign raised £10,000.

He said: “It’s been an unbelievable few years, we’ve created an amazing place for people to come be themselves and get their game on but for personal issues and with a heavy heart I’ll be moving on from Random Encounter.

“We planned our final months to be something special, and as heartbreaking as it is we only hope that all of you a weathering this storm the best you can.”

It is due to close on 30 June.

Random Encounter had become a hub of the gaming community, with events most nights of the week.

Naturally people were dismayed by the news. “I’m devastated to hear this! It’s one place that I could take my kids to in town and have them occupied for hours…we’ve created such wonderful memories in that place,” one posted on Facebook.

“Really gonna miss you guys! Spent some good times in your wonderful cafe,” said another.