Former Conservative club in Southsea once set for strip club to become board game cafe

The former 'Southsea Conservative Club, Albert Road, Southsea
The former 'Southsea Conservative Club, Albert Road, Southsea
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PLANS have been unveiled to convert a vacant building – once earmarked to become a strip club – into a new ‘hipster-style’ board game café.

Albert Road’s Conservative Club is to be taken over and transformed into the area’s newest café, with a gaming twist.

The Southsea site, which will open under the leadership of Dice Portsmouth, will be packed with more than 700 board games.

Dice’s directors have promised to have family classics like Monopoly and Cluedo as well as challenging space-aged strategy games and abstract puzzles.

And they’ve said they will serve a range of fresh sandwiches, paninis and tapas with hopes to offer locally-brewed craft beers too.

Lee Purslow, of Southsea, is one of the directors of the group and has been looking to set up a base in the city for three years.

The 39-year-old said: ‘This is huge for us. We have had so many disappointments along the way so to now be opening up in Albert Road is amazing.’

The effort was backed by scores of patrons, who helped raise about £12,000 in a crowdfunding campaign to pay for the new café.

Expected to open at the end of August after extensive refurbishment work, the venue would be the first of its kind in the city.

He hopes the café will be a hit with families, students and young professionals, adding: ‘We’re looking to sell cool café food that has a kind of hipster vibe.’

Earlier this year, councillors rejected plans to convert the building into a strip club after an outcry from the community.

Lib Dem councillor Suzy Horton welcomed the new addition to the street and said: ‘I’m delighted Dice is coming to Albert Road.

‘This is completely different from what I felt was trying to be shoehorned that would have been a late-night drinking establishment.’