Video game bar could be set to open in Bloomsbury

Competitive socialising is a growing trend in hospitality

A new competitive socialising bar for gamers could open in Bloomsbury.

Platform Soho Limited has applied for a new premises licence for a gaming venue in the lower ground floor of 106 New Oxford Street, which was previously an Argos store.

The company is behind two other social gaming venues in Shoreditch and Canary Wharf, where people can play games on computer consoles.

They can also enjoy pizza and drinks in their gaming booths.

Competitive socialising is a growing trend in hospitality, aiming to give people a “fun atmosphere” to pit their wits against each other in activities such as video games, sports or escape room games.

Company boss and gaming fan Nicolo Portunato recently told the Beyond the Game podcast he planned to open a new venue in London next year.

He said he wanted to “show that video games are cool” and gaming is “the biggest entertainment on the planet”.

London has proved to be a resilient market, he said, and aimed to offer an “inclusive place, accessible, cool and a bit private” for people to enjoy gaming.

The company’s existing premises are busier with the after-work crowd.

Customers pay for a 90-minute session for a console with a selection of games.

The company has applied for a new premises licence to open between 11am and midnight Sundays to Thursdays, closing half an hour later on Fridays and Saturdays.

It has also asked to supply late night refreshments and to play recorded music.

A consultation runs until Monday 4 September.

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