SideQuest Canterbury franchise store opens after closure of Westfield venue, Liverpool gaming bar LevelTap also closes

SideQuest Canterbury Store

A couple of gaming cafes/bars across the UK have closed recently, while a new one has opened its doors – the SideQuest Canterbury store (pictured above).

SideQuest Gamers Hub has permanently closed its Westfield Stratford City store in London, and thanked its customers for their support.

It now has stores in Charing Cross, Coventry, Elephant & Castle, Leicester and now Canterbury, according to its website.

The news comes after Wanyoo opened the Westfield Stratford venue in May 2021 before Wanyoo rebranded to SideQuest two years ago.

Wanyoo opened its first store in the UK in Charing Cross, London, back in 2019.

Anteia Orteiro, Director of Retail at SideQuest Gamers Hub, told Esports News UK: “We had to close Westfield, unfortunately. Our hub had an amazing vibe there; it was definitely the home of some fantastic events we ran; but unfortunately it was not the right location for us. It was not an easy decision, but we are still focused on expanding.

“Last weekend we opened our new SideQuest Canterbury store.

“This is our first store opening on a franchise model and we are hoping to grow the SideQuest family even further in the next two years, both in and outside the UK.”

Anteia Orteiro, SideQuest Gamers Hub

“We aim to explore especially the European market in the near future, but our franchisees can be from any country or have different educational backgrounds. However, you all should have common qualities, which are: passion, personality, and a love of games and people.

“As franchising is a new milestone for us, we are currently offering special deals that include a £0 franchise fee in the first years. We also offer two different models that can be tailored to business needs.”

SideQuest says it has more than 185,000 registered members, with 1,000+ daily active users thanks to its app (data from the first quarter of 2024).

The SideQuest Canterbury store has 40 PC stations, with 15 in the public area, 10 in duo rooms and 15 in Squad Rooms.

Consoles are also available, such as Nintendo and Playstations. 2 Race simulators are also being added later this month.

The hub has a viewing area focused on events, as well as a plug and play area where people can bring their own Switch and play for free.

The PC specs are as follows:

image 1

In line with SideQuest’s other locations, there will also be a variety of food offerings and its own bubble tea brand.

For the next two weeks, to celebrate the opening of the new SideQuest Canterbury store, it will have special prices and bundles, such as:

  • All day pass: £35 for a full day of unlimited gaming (weekdays only)
  • Two hours of gaming in any area and 1 Bubble tea: £15 (weekdays only)
  • Bubble tea discount: 30% off on any beverage (every day offer)

Opening times are from 12pm midday to 10pm BST Mondays to Thursdays, 12pm to 3am on Fridays and Saturdays, and 12pm to midnight on Sundays.

We were also told that Canterbury is not joining the SideQuest membership program for now.

Rooms booking are available on the app and website at, and for special events or general enquiries, the Canterbury team can be reached via [email protected]

Liverpool gaming bar LevelTap closes: ‘Market conditions have made it increasingly challenging for independent startups like ours’


In other UK gaming bar news, Liverpool’s first dedicated esports and gaming venue, LevelTap, has ceased trading less than a year after opening.

Liverpool esports and streaming stars turned out for the LevelTap launch back in late May 2023 (see picture above).

The LevelTap Instagram page posted an update last week, saying: “With heavy hearts, we confirm that LevelTap has ceased trading, effective March 23rd 2024. Despite our passion and dedication, current market conditions have made it increasingly challenging for independent startups like ours to grow at an affordable rate.

“We extend our deepest gratitude to each and every one of you who walked through our doors, shared in our journey, and helped in our mission to provide an exciting space for the local gaming community to thrive. Your support, enthusiasm, and feedback did not go unnoticed and we’re hugely appreciative.

“Our stay here in Liverpool, our home, was all too brief but we remain proud of what we accomplished and forever grateful for the opportunity. Thank you for having us.”

The venue closures are the latest cut-backs in the games and esports industry, which are being referred to as ‘the esports winter’.

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