Venue - a time for honesty

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Venue - a time for honesty

Post  Aneurin on Wed 02 Jul 2014, 20:06

So there has been a lot of talk recently regarding the need to move the club from the Redhouse. The main reason being lack of space. Hence, at the request of Kes, this Tuesday we ran a trial of Harrisons bar.

In short there is no more space and we share the pub with a regular pub quiz. There is no partition (other than a curtain) between the rooms so it makes it quite noisey. Especially when playing by the joining archway. To me it makes no sense to move here.

However, since this issue has arisen other 'reasons' have come to light. 1) distance from the city centre. 2) beer prices. 3) lighting. 4) seating. 5) toilets.

I think we need to remember that we are never going to find a place that will please everyone. Too close to the city and parking becomes a problem. Too far away and people who can't drive have problems getting there. Some people like modern bars, others rustic old pubs with real ale.

In my opinion the Redhouse serves (and has done for 2 yea now) as a good compromise for everyone. Close to town 5 minute walk. Free parking. Some guest ales, lager and good selection of spirits. Furthermore they let us bring our own food, open until we decide to leave and it has always been free to use the space - with sole occupancy of the entire pub.

Downsides - it is a little run down - but remember we aren't paying for the space. If we did we could expect better (nicer toilets etc). Would people be willing to pay a monthly membership to get a 'nicer' place? Wouldn't really matter if the beer was cheaper - any advantage there would probably be taken by membership fees.

Space - I don't see as a problem. We only ever have 1 table playing in the bar area. It could easily fit another 2 tables (utilising the stage if it was cleaned up). Also if those ridiculous thrones were removed that would make more space. The Redhouse has a handy shelf for drinks while we play. Putting drinks on the tables risks spill ages on expensive games.

Lighting - it is a music venue so has strange lights but a normal light bulb doesn't cost much

Cost - I actually found no difference at Harrison's. 1 pint of beer, 1 pint of coke and some nibbles were still around £5-6. Pretty average and the same as the Redhouse.

I don't see anything in this list that cannot be fixed. In fact I have already contacting Jeff about some of these concerns. I think we need to be honest with Jeff. Obviously the club is helping sustain the pub - moving would affect his livelihood... Anyway this is what was proposed -

Lighting - Jeff will put in some strip lights up for us

Chairs - he is looking at getting enough  small chairs for 20-30 people

Cost - he has agreed to put out some jugs of water and glasses so if people don't want to buy drinks they don't have to. He is ok with this and will have a word with the bar manager to make sure no further disagreements occur. However please remember the pub will only have us for as long as it makes business sense. If we all stop drinking behind the bar it will not support the club for free. I will continue to pay for drinks.

I propose we see how this runs for the summer. See if Jeff and Danny are true to their word.

How do people feel about this?

If space does become an issue the alternative is to split the group - play at 2 venues and or start another regular evening gaming session.

I always wanted the club to be a collective not a 1 man show. We should go with the majority decision - but on the understanding this could fragment the group. So let's discuss this below. Are we moving for moving sake?

I am the last of the old members of SCBG to attend - others have moved on as the club has expanded - and that is because SBGC evolves I understand that... So please be as honest as you want.


Last edited by Aneurin on Wed 02 Jul 2014, 21:42; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Venue - a time for honesty

Post  Aneurin on Wed 02 Jul 2014, 20:22

Old - I don't mean age (I am only 34)...

Bit of history - this club has been going since before 2008. I joined then... Took 3 friends and doubled the membership numbers. It's been a long road to build the club up and members can take as much of an active role as they want in the running of it all. Let's just avoid AGMs and all that jazz and play more games...
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Re: Venue - a time for honesty

Post  DaveB on Wed 02 Jul 2014, 20:29

Redhouse certainly wins for convenience for me although there isn't much in it. My main issues with the pub are the main room - the ligting and sound setup in there are geared for live acts and can be pretty uncomfortable as a result.

I have no issue with cost either way - prices at both places are entirely reasonable and I'd certainly continue to buy drinks, although no doubt I would avail myself of a glass of water from time to time should they be readily available.

I don't have a strong opinion either way but would probably lean towards staying at the Redhouse if pressed - they've been good to us in the time I've been part of the group and that counts for a lot in my opinion, especially if Jeff can address the concerns mentioned above.
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Re: Venue - a time for honesty

Post  PaulC on Wed 02 Jul 2014, 21:13

If you (or anyone else for that matter) had asked me to choose between the two venues I would still choose the red house. Yes, space has been an issue at times, but if They are willing to address that then I feel no compulsion to move.
I don't know the details of any feud, nor do I need or want to know - I just want to play some games!
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Re: Venue - a time for honesty

Post  Evilevan on Wed 02 Jul 2014, 21:28

I really don't feel that strongly about this issue. There may come a time soon when we have completely outgrown the RedHouse,  In which case we will have to move. I'm not sure we are at that stage right now.

Either Jeff and the bar guy want us to be there or not - they know our "dynamic" by now - so if you've spoken to them Aneurin and they're happy for us to be there, and they're not going to be grumpy with Kes for not buying their drinks when the rest of us do... then that's not an issue.

I'll go along with the consensus on this one.  Very Happy
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Re: Venue - a time for honesty

Post  Lizzy on Thu 03 Jul 2014, 00:07

For me the issue is exactly space, if we don't get more space I don't see the point in moving. There have been weeks where we've been absolutely rammed in the Red House. I've seen at least 3, possibly even 4, tables in use in the bar area before now and there have been times we've had to drag chairs from outside to use, which is not ideal.

A few people have said to me that they were there when it was that busy and it really put them off coming back; that really bothers me. I want people to be able to play games! That said, it's not always that busy, recently we've had a bunch of really quiet weeks, it's just a question of how often that sort of thing happens and when it becomes an issue that needs dealing with.

I'm not convinced at all Harrisons is the right place to move to if we did decide to move, but I do think we need to be thinking about moving on. I don't understand why we wouldn't, it does no harm to be prepared and if we find somewhere better in other ways then great.

When you ask are we moving for the sake of moving, we have to be equally aware that we don't stay somewhere just because we've always been there. There's no harm looking at options and making sure we're doing what's best for the club. I don't believe we'd move if it meant splitting the club, I don't think anyone wants that. Doing two days a week's possible, but when it's quiet we'd have two *really* quiet days so that would be rubbish.  

I agree about speaking to the Red House and seeing if they can improve on the few issues we have with them. Getting them to put out water, get more chairs and improve the lighting would help, that's a good idea. If they want to make an effort to get us to stay then that's great. We might as well make it as nice as possible to be there while we are there, we might end up staying for ages yet, who knows.

In the end, if people don't want to move, then we don't move, it's as simple as that.
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Re: Venue - a time for honesty

Post  Kes on Thu 03 Jul 2014, 00:31

Yeah, that ^
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Re: Venue - a time for honesty

Post  adamkadabra on Thu 03 Jul 2014, 11:11

I have to agree with majourity. Although Harrison is a good plan B venue over scholar but in terms of finding a venue big enough and quite enough to host us I think red house flat out wins for noise level in the pub. (I dont like shouting either) I dont think we can get better.
Kes mentioned about speaking to the management to use the whole bar room in Harrison? Does that mean they will move quiz night? If that's the case how do people feel about that? If I had to pick between the two my self, ill pick red house also. But another attempt at Harrison I dont see the harm in us trying.
Paying wise is a tuff one, I originally said I wouldn't mind paying for a venue but then the less numbers and it may be £4 a night of board games before I even reached the bar.

Either way, where ever we go im happy with the decision. As long as we can bring guiness.

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Re: Venue - a time for honesty

Post  Lizzy on Thu 03 Jul 2014, 14:28

So, there seems to be little impetuous to move to Harrisons, but something of a feeling it wouldn’t be quite enough of an improvement to bother with? I think that’s fair.

Shall we carry on at the Red House for the time being? See what Jeff can do to improve things?

Harrisons is a great plan B, like Adam said. If we can’t use RH for any reason then we can switch over and it’d be fine.  If they improve things for us, then I’d also be happy to trial them again.

There does seem to be a sense that we should be thinking about other venues for the future though, so I think we should continue looking around and if we find somewhere we think it’s worth trying, give it a whirl. We’ve been approached by a number of people about using their venues and I get the impression many pubs would be very happy to have us. It’s just a question of finding something that would suit us long term. That place might turn out to be the Red House! In which case, that’s fine.

Adam mentioned paying for a venue, I think the club would need to be a lot bigger before we thought about that.  It’s an option, but someone would have to deal with a lot of paperwork then. That said, I’m currently treasurer of a choir and if we get to that point, I’d be happy to deal with all that shizzle. I just don’t think we’re anywhere near it being necessary yet and I would certainly avoid it as long as possible.
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Re: Venue - a time for honesty

Post  DaveB on Thu 03 Jul 2014, 14:30

I suspect also that if we started having to pay weekly for a venue then we'd immediately shrink at least a bit as well...
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Re: Venue - a time for honesty

Post  Lizzy on Thu 03 Jul 2014, 14:32

ch1ma3ra wrote:I suspect also that if we started having to pay weekly for a venue then we'd immediately shrink at least a bit as well...

Exactly. The club would need to be so large that the individual cost of membership would be negligable. Otherwise people just wouldn't want to pay it. People can always go off and play games in some other pub for free, so why would they pay to play with us?
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Re: Venue - a time for honesty

Post  PaulC on Thu 03 Jul 2014, 14:56

CocoaCocoabo wrote:People can always go off and play games in some other pub for free, so why would they pay to play with us?

Because we're awesome, of course!
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Re: Venue - a time for honesty

Post  Lizzy on Thu 03 Jul 2014, 15:07

Bunglebogs wrote:
CocoaCocoabo wrote:People can always go off and play games in some other pub for free, so why would they pay to play with us?

Because we're awesome, of course!

Oh yeah! Smile
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Re: Venue - a time for honesty

Post  Aneurin on Fri 04 Jul 2014, 13:59

CocoaCocoabo wrote:
When you ask are we moving for the sake of moving, we have to be equally aware that we don't stay somewhere just because we've always been there. There's no harm looking at options and making sure we're doing what's best for the club. I don't believe we'd move if it meant splitting the club, I don't think anyone wants that. Doing two days a week's possible, but when it's quiet we'd have two *really* quiet days so that would be rubbish.  

I agree totally. There is a chance Jeff wont come through with all these promises (he didn't last time (drinks discount) when we were being targeted by the Scholar).

However, there are also some things we could do to help - perhaps look and cutting down a few of the boards to 3*3 rather than 4*4? Not all games need that much room to play and this would instantly give us more space. I think the redhouse is actually quite generous for space we just don't utilise it very well.

I think we also need to prioritise what 'we' want... We will have to look very hard for sole use of a bigger space without payment... (i'm thinking club houses/halls)... and as mentioned above -  member payment isn't a great move for the club... people can play games anywhere in smaller groups of friends... for free! Does something have to give - the redhouse offers sole use with limited space. Is space with shared use better?

You know who we need...
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Re: Venue - a time for honesty

Post  Lizzy on Fri 04 Jul 2014, 15:06

Cutting down some boards might help; they're often bigger than we need. If we have boards that only need one table underneath then we could have loads more games running. Not sure how stable that would be though. The limiting factor is more chairs so Jeff would need to sort that. Like you say, we'll have to see if he comes through or not.

I don't mind other people being around, it's nice when randomers come over and ask about the games we're playing. We don't strictly have sole use in the Redhouse, people can turn up, they just don't. In other pubs though, it may be more of an issue. If we turned up somewhere and found the place is rammed with a work party, that would be... problematic. We'd need to be assured a certain amount of space, but I don't see the need to hide ourselves away necessarily. It's just the most practical option will probably be a large function room somewhere.

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Re: Venue - a time for honesty

Post  Aneurin on Fri 04 Jul 2014, 17:06

CocoaCocoabo wrote:I don't mind other people being around, it's nice when randomers come over and ask about the games we're playing. We don't strictly have sole use in the Redhouse, people can turn up, they just don't. In other pubs though, it may be more of an issue. If we turned up somewhere and found the place is rammed with a work party, that would be... problematic. We'd need to be assured a certain amount of space, but I don't see the need to hide ourselves away necessarily. It's just the most practical option will probably be a large function room somewhere.

We had that issue when we use to play at the Riverside - admittedly it was a much smaller group but we were told by the manager that the snug area would be reserved (we could get 3 tables in there - and often did)... then as the weeks/months passed by the reservation stopped and it became more and more uncomfortable with music playing for other punters, live bands and we had to move... we went to the 3 Cranes.

Jeff doesn't book things in on a Tuesday anymore - the place is ours... however the door is open so as you say random people can wander in... I think that situation works and is a good thing to have as you say.

Its going to have to be a pretty big function room - as our experience in Harrisons taught us... I think we often have 6 games playing at the Redhouse. If/when we move I think we are looking for space for 10?
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Re: Venue - a time for honesty

Post  Lizzy on Tue 08 Jul 2014, 10:08

Aneurin wrote:Its going to have to be a pretty big function room - as our experience in Harrisons taught us... I think we often have 6 games playing at the Redhouse. If/when we move I think we are looking for space for 10?  

I would have thought bigger than that. If we organise ourselves more efficiently at the RH we can fit 8 tables in there without much trouble. If we move for space we'd want somewhere we can fit substantially more when necessary, I'd have thought.
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Re: Venue - a time for honesty

Post  Carl_H on Thu 07 Aug 2014, 16:21

Just wondering if alcohol is a must with regards to the venue? or is other criteria a higher priority?
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Re: Venue - a time for honesty

Post  Lizzy on Fri 08 Aug 2014, 09:14

carlbloke wrote:Just wondering if alcohol is a must with regards to the venue? or is other criteria a higher priority?

Some people would regard alcohol as a must I'm sure.
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Re: Venue - a time for honesty

Post  DaveB on Fri 08 Aug 2014, 09:24

carlbloke wrote:Just wondering if alcohol is a must with regards to the venue? or is other criteria a higher priority?

For me, not at all as I generally drive to the club, but as Lizzy mentions above, some folk will surely prefer it to be available.
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Re: Venue - a time for honesty

Post  kered9 on Fri 29 Aug 2014, 16:34

I think alcohol defines the venue, otherwise its just renting a cold church hall. No atmosphere and costs money. Unless there is an excellent cafe with plenty of space and open terrifically late pubs are the only option, surely.

What kind of non-alcoholic venue would be free and nice?
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