Andriy Bogatyr, the founder of the gaming club-cafe “Retro Knights”, says that he was interested in board games since childhood – somewhere from 6-7 years old. Back then, in the early 90s, it was a popular pastime among children.
As an adult, since 2012, working in the IT field, Andriy began to buy and collect various games and comics.
“A year and a half ago, I thought about creating a local Poltava community of board game lovers. I already knew many people who were interested in such games. Later, members of the community began to ask when there would be a club where you could come and play,” Andrii Bogatyr says.
This is how the idea arose to organize a permanent location for regular meetings. At that time, there was no board game club in Poltava, and Andriy decided to take a risk and open his own.
After several meetings to play in one of the local anti-cafes, the Poltava citizen realized that there is a large community in the city that is actively interested in board games.
“At first, we thought of buying several tables, regularly gathering in a rented room to play, while sharing the rental costs,” says Bogatyr.
However, after some time, after renting premises for the institution, the entrepreneur found out about the Vlasna Sprava grant program. “My girlfriend saw information about the program and offered to participate,” says the founder of the gaming club.
At that time, the audience of the club was about 500 people, and the founder of the community already had about 200 board games. The premises that were rented had a basement floor and a small room above. Therefore, the idea arose to create a coffee shop there.
“In this way, we decided to add a little convenience so that you can buy drinks. Besides, it’s downtown, there’s a pretty busy park and stadium nearby, people could come in for a coffee and learn about our community,” explains the founder of Retro Nights. .
In order to participate in the program, in addition to the application, it was necessary to write a business plan. Andriy Bogatyr admits that it was not difficult to form and protect him.
“I already understood what it would look like, what the identity should be, what the price policy of the club and the coffee shop would be. I have a good friend in the coffee business who advised me what the first stage could be. So I already had the numbers and forecasts for the first year,” the entrepreneur says.
Within the framework of the grant program, the founder of the game room-café hired two people. They work as baristas.
“The grant program helped a lot. We spent part of the funds on renting a more comfortable room. We also made custom-made tables, very similar to those that professional gaming clubs have in the USA,” says the founder of the institution.