Three Year Anniversary

November 12, 2020

I'm sitting in The Ludoquist, where the lights are mainly off, including our shiny blue logo. It's not how I'd envisaged our third anniversary, but...the world is what it is this year.

On the 8th November 2017, we opened our doors for the first time. Our first customer just wanted a takeaway coffee - which we hadn't really worked out how to do. We talked to him about games, he looked confused, and sipped his probably-not-great coffee as he fled; as far as I know, he never returned.

Our next customers were a couple of retired ladies. They wanted a nice hot pot of tea, which we were able to provide. They sat down, looked a bit confused at all the games, and asked a colleague about them. He explained what we were, and they tentatively picked up a copy of Scrabble. They hadn't played in 20 years, they explained. They played three games in a row, and I burst into tears, because this is what we had dreamed of; bringing games, in a nice environment, to those who otherwise did not play.

They came back, every Wednesday, for months, playing Scrabble and having a good chat over it.

Later that night, the Croydon Board Gamers joined us - about 45 of them that first evening. I again burst into tears, because here were people who would otherwise play games, but not in an environment that was designed for them as we were. They loved our food, they loved our drink, they loved, most importantly, our atmosphere.

A few of our current team were there that night, and within a couple of weeks our core staff were all in place. Our atmosphere was, and is, mainly down to them and their hard work. Some have, sadly, moved on, but they all contributed greatly.

We also, to our horror, had a newspaper reviewer in on the opening - not something we had expected or planned for at all! This was for the sadly demised Croydon Citizen, but you can still read it at Shaking Hands!

We've worked long and hard for three years. Sometimes, it's been difficult, and we have had to learn an awful lot. But mainly, it's been glorious, and for all the difficulties, we've had a marvellous time.

Things are, of course, not so positive currently.  Lockdowns have taken their toll on us, both emotionally and financially - during first Lockdown we fought like crazy to provide safe services to our wonderful customers, and they responded in kind.

Local deliveries of coffee and beer when those were hard to get kept some of us afloat!

This time, we're tired, in all honesty. We've had to take a week or so to recharge our batteries a little, and now are starting to plan again. We're doing a big stock-take of all our games and having a reorganize in the basement. We've opened accounts with some new suppliers so we can provide some more Christmassy games, and we'll be redoing the windows for those who wander by.

We are still selling games at, and as a 3 year celebration, we are offering a one week 5% discount on all purchases with code Happy3rdBirthday .

As well as mail order, we are now offering Click and Collect on Mondays and Thursdays between 12 and 2pm - we may be able to offer other times if that doesn't suit but will definitely be available then. Please mail us at to arrange other times!



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