Underworld Gaming aiming to become Ireland’s premier centre
Nollaig Carr, Katie Whyte and Michael Wendell

Underworld Gaming aiming to become Ireland’s premier centre

A FIRST of it’s kind type of business opened last week in Tallaght, a gaming venue that aims to become Ireland’s premier centre for playing tabletop wargames, card games, and board games.

Underworld Gaming, opened on September 11 at Belgard Square W, with South Dublin County Mayor Peter Kavanagh on hand to cut the ribbon and enjoy a bit of Warhammer, as he is a keen player himself.

The huge 3,500 sq ft facility contains 2,500 sq ft of gaming space at the back with 6×4 board tables all around. The front of the premises is  reserved for a retail store, selling gaming related products.

Co-founders Michael Wendell and Nathan Sandison were running gaming events for years in a number of city centre shops, but Covid essentially provided them with the push to do something they were planning on anyway, to open their own place.

“It was going to cost money either way, so we pulled the trigger and decided on this unit in Tallaght, with underground parking, the transport links are great, we are beside The Square, great footfall,” said Michael.

“It is early days but customers have said they found it so easy to get to and it has been far busier than we expected. If we got a place in town, there would be less space, this is ideal.”

The venue is not just for experienced gaming players, but for people interested in looking at something new, and the pair hope to encourage families down to enjoy a change of scenery, creating a social club feel for the place.

“It depends on what the customer wants. If new, we will take them through it. There is a general starter pack, we have four or five demo games, you need to do it to get a feel for it,” said Michael.

“Painting is a big part of it (for the characters in games), we have a demo painting station. People can come in after work, families can come in, they might book a table, play a game or chill out with a coffee. We just got in a fully serviced coffee machine, proper equipment, the only thing missing is a barista.”

A games calendar has been established to host specific nights and the venue plan to host events in the months ahead.

Currently they have five staff, including the owners, but they will be looking to hire more people as the business develops.

Open until 10pm from Wednesday to Friday, and 10am to 6pm at the weekends, when it is at it’s busiest.

“People generally stay here between two to five hours at a time, it ends up being a social club, and it is a great way to meet people and make long lasting friendships,” said Michael.

“You can pay a daily admission or membership for €20 a month is our September offer, we might go to €25 a month in October. Warhammer is probably the most popular game, Dungeons and Dragons has yet to hit it’s stride in Ireland, but we have earmarked both for nights in the weekly calendar, and the Adventure League on Thursdays, which is provided by Wizards of the Coast.”

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