Board games bar group poised to launch another city venue

Chance & Counters, a group of board game bar/cafés, is set to open Leeds’s first permanent dedicated board game bar/café on Merrion Street on 8 December 2023.

The Leeds venue will be the company’s fifth location, having originally opened in Bristol in 2016, followed by Cardiff, Birmingham and a second site in Bristol earlier in 2023.

The group is owned and operated by a group of friends and board game fans, who set out to create the kind of venue that didn’t exist at that time – somewhere to switch off their phones and try out weird and wonderful board games in a relaxed and welcoming hospitality setting.

Chance & Counters’ cafés are centred around a library of over 500 board games, ranging from old-school family favourites to the latest new releases.

Alongside the games Chance & Counters offers an all-day food & drink offering.

By day, that means speciality coffee and tea, thick milkshakes and fresh smoothies, and light lunch fare. By night it is craft beer, cocktails and wines paired with classic diner-style cuisine.

The premises at 6-8 Merrion Street was previously occupied by Yard & Coop.

Following a minor refurbishment the venue will be open from the weekend of 8 December, six days a week (Tuesday – Friday).

On the ground floor the bar and light game area will have 50 or so quick games which are free to play, and space for casual diners and drinkers – including an outside terrace on Merrion Street.

On the first floor there is a larger table-service area featuring gaming tables, the larger board game library, a small secondary bar and space for up to 70 people to play.

Upstairs customers pay a gaming fee of £2 per person, per hour to play the games.

Steve Cownie, managing director, said: “We’re beyond excited to be in Leeds. We’ve been looking here for nearly three years and when we found this spot on Merrion Street we knew it was the one.

“The hospitality scene is unbelievable and I hope we can bring something a little different that stands on its own alongside the best in the city.”