Asia’s largest social gaming café, Wanyoo, is to open its second UK site and first outside of London at the new £25millionCathedral Lanes development in Coventry City Centre. The operator has agreed a new 15 year lease for the 3,911 sq ft unit.
With over 1,000 cafes across China, Wanyoo entered the European market in January with the opening of their first site at Charing Cross Road in London. The global brand, which also has sites in Australia, the United States, Canada and Singapore,has now committed to its second UK location at Shearer Property Group’s Cathedral Lanes leisure scheme. Backed by a £21 million investment from Sicong Wang (Sephirex), the son of the Chinese billionaire Jianlin Wang,Wanyoo offers a unique lifestyle gaming experience with multi-functional facilities, leisure services and professional esports equipment. Wanyoo is set to be the largest public esports studio in the UK.
Zhaorong Chen, a director at Wanyoo UK, said: “I wanted to develop a gaming environment and social platform for the entire community; one that would allow people to have fun, relax, interact and socialise. We have gone from strength to strength in Chinatown London, and now with an established student community, we can’t wait to bring this concept to a whole new customer base in Coventry. Shelley Sandzer has been instrumental in helping us secure this perfect location at Coventry’s leading new leisure scheme.”
Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Coventry City Council’s Cabinet Member for Jobs & Regeneration, said: “This is great news for the city and a further vote of confidence both in Cathedral Lanes and the city centre economy which continues to flourish. Here’s to more announcements of new businesses in the city centre soon.”
Carlene Hughes, leisure director at Savills, who is advising SPG, added: “Gaming and esports is set to take the UK leisure sector by storm over the next couple of years, having already proved hugely popular across Asia and the USA. With an astounding following in China, Wanyoo is one of the biggest gaming café chains in the world, so it’s really exciting that they’ve chosen Cathedral Lanes as their second UK destination, reinforcing the viability of the development and adding to its already strong occupier line-up.”
Etai Page, leasing agent at Shelley Sandzer who acted on behalf of the brand to secure the site, added: “Wanyoo is a pioneering brand leading the way in esports in the UK, so we are proud to work on their behalf in securing this prime site at Cathedral Lanes. We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with the brand as they build their UK portfolio.”
Launching in 2015, Cathedral Lanes is a new leisure quarter development in the heart of Coventry city centre, comprising The Botanist, Wagamama, Bistrot Pierre, Las Iguanas, Cosy Club and Zizzi, fronting on to pedestrianised Broadgate Square. Recent new openings at the scheme include fast-casual pizza concept, MOD Pizza and Turtle Bay will open shortly in a unit overlooking the Cathedral and the University. With the letting to Wanyoo, only one unit remains available to let.
Shelley Sandzer acted for Wanyoo and Savills advised the Shearer Property Group.