Update Blog: Happy Piranha Shop Move and Game Café Project in Truro | Happy Piranha

Update Blog: Happy Piranha Café and Geek Club Project in Truro

If you've haven't heard the news already... we're going on an adventure next door... and it's going to take a while!

One part will be a themed café, the other will be space for gaming, clubs and  other such groups - whatever you do to get together! 

We'll use this blog to keep you informed of how the project is going.

What's happening?

The building where the new Happy Piranha Store and Board Games Café will be in Pydar Street, Truro.

We're expanding our horizons from our little store at the top of Pydar street in Truro, Cornwall (the black one on the left in the image above) to include the much larger building next door.

One half will be space for gaming, clubs and groups, with a mix of drop-in and bookable space, the other will be a café. We hope to be the home of some cool clubs and possibly offer some membership benefits in the future too.

We want this to be a space that clubs, groups and individuals can enjoy alike, so are keen to know how people would like to see it used.

We're going to theme some of the rooms to make them a fun place to hang out, meet up and play too.

If you're nearby and looking to organise or run any leagues or clubs; from chess to board games, DnD to cosplay, or knitting to quizzing to cribbage, we'd be interested to hear your ideas, so that we can hit the ground running with things for you to do.

What is started as...

 Here's one half.

Where the new Happy Piranha store will be in Truro, Cornwall.

Here's the other.

The building where the games café will be next door to the Happy Piranha store in Truro Cornwall.

And here's what will be the principal function room upstairs.

Where the principal function room will be for the games café project in Truro, Cornwall.

As you can see, we've got our work cut out! A lot needs doing, but we're excited to have this blank canvas to work with. 

Progress so far...

Here's what we've been up to so far, with the most current progress first.

We've Painted Some Stuff

As well as adding some colour to the walls we've also started doing some more interesting painting, such as some detailing on the entryway to the space room and the Aztec arch.

Painting Progress at Happy Piranha Cafe

We've Illuminated some progress

Lighting has been added to the Japanese and Medieval areas which are coming along nicely!

The Japanese and Medieval areas in Happy Piranha Cafe.

We've Tinkered with the Tavern

The Tavern is nearing competition with just a few little bits and bobs to add. The backlit window is in place, varnishing complete, walls textured painted and duelling pistols in place. We've got a nautical name in the works too.

The Tavern Room at Happy Piranha Cafe

We've Been Mopping up a Flood...

Just when we thought we couldn't get setback anymore, someone with a very bad taste in beer decided to jam a can of Tennent's extra strong lager down a local drain, which ended up causing a flood directly under us. 

Luckily, our legend plumber Steve was able to lend a helping hand to find the problem, though we did have to relay all the floor we just had put down. Big thanks to the floor guys for the extra help!

A flooded floor at Happy Piranha Cafe.

We've Begun Jazzing up the Japan Area and Saved a Door.

The Tori Gate has been painted, the floor is down and we've begun adding some of the bamboo accents to the walls in our area inspired by Japan.

We also managed to find this old Chapel door, which once used to belong a a Chapel nearby in Newquay. It shall get a new lease of life in our medieval themed area!

Tori Gate and Church Door at the Piranha Project.

We've Started Touching up the Tavern

We've finished the wood panelling in the Tavern, added the window that we made and started adding a textured finish to the upper half of the walls to add a more rustic feel.

Work on the Tavern area at the Piranha Project.

We've Painted Pillars and Put in Panels

We've been reusing more reclaimed pallet wood to panel the inside of our Tavern room and have also painted this pillar by the Japanese themed area with a cool red and white wave pattern.

A painted pillar and wooden panelling in the tavern area | Happy Piranha

We've Crafted Wonderful Windows

We've been working on some windows for the Medieval inspired area. The first is inspired by a carriage window, using layers of laser cut wood and the other a stained glass church style one utilising a sheet of acrylic.

Medieval inspired windows being crafted.  

We've been making the Medieval 

We've been working on the Medieval / Viking inspired section at the front of the building, fixing the cool reclaimed church pews in place, and re-using some of the lovely aged old loft beams to add some character!

Progress on the Medieval section at the Piranha Project in Truro, Cornwall.

We added sci-fi structure

We've started work on the left side of the building which will be sci-fi spaceship themed table space.

We've started by putting some frames around the pillars and beams to create the foundations for our space ship interior!

Building the interior space ship pillars in the Piranha Project

Tori, tills and tabletops 

We continued work on the main counter area and the Japan inspired seating area, including adding a Tori gate inspired entrance

We also made progress on the Piranha Pop Up area; laying some lino, fitting the cupboards and worktops and constructing the service counter.

Constructing the counter and Japan inspired area at the Piranha Project

We pieced together a pop-up

We've been working on the little area at the front of the building. This small section of the project will open early as ‘Piranha Popup’ - a little multifunctional space that will change with the seasons.
In summer, you’ll be able to drop by for takeaway Cornish ice cream, milkshakes, coffee and bubble tea. At Christmas time it will be a grotto full of decorations and in between, who knows!

Building Piranha Pop Up

We built the foundations of a tea house

We constructed the raised floor seating area that will form part of our café section inspired by Japan, where you'll be able to sit in a comfy floor seating and imagine you're in your very own Japanese tea house.

Building the floor for the Japan inspired area at the Piranha Project | Happy Piranha

We made toilets and tills

We built a new entranceway/walkway to the toilets, so that the door isn't opposite the counter. We've also started to create the first bit of the till area too!

Creating a walkway and till ara at the Piranha Project

We added a new lick of paint outside

We've started to make the front of the building look a bit more fresh by giving it a bit of a power wash and a new first coat of paint.

We're sure the seagulls will defile it before we open, but we'll give it a second coat before then.

We got dusty plasterboarding

We've been doing the finickity job of plasterboarding parts of the front of the building and the ceiling for protection and to give some fresh surfaces to decorate.

Lots of annoying angles to work out here, so we're glad this bit is done! 

We experienced true level

As the front of the floor is sloped, we've put in a new level floor so that you don't all slide off your seats. As you can see, Josh has been experiencing true level (If you watched that Rick and Morty episode, you'll know what that's about)

We partitioned things

After a bit of delays with builders, lockdowns and Christmas stuff, we're finally back at it with some noticeable change!

We've started splitting up what will be the café and gaming/function space by adding some partitions. The left of the building will be table space for gaming, clubs and other such stuff (we're thinking of going with a sci-fi/space ship theme there).

The right will be a mixture of themed café space (we've got ideas of Viking, medieval and oriental inspired for this side. 

We reclaimed some pew pew pews!

We were lucky enough to pick up some lovely pews from an old Methodist church that is going to be redeveloped.

With a little bit of care and creativity, we're looking forward to turning these into some cool looking (and comfy) booths for part of the downstairs café area!

Some reclaimed church pews that will be converted into booths for the café

We uncovered a little bit of History

Still lots of structural work to go but making progress. As we peeled away the wallpaper in one of the upstairs rooms, we uncovered some notes left behind from our predecessors in 1915 and 1968, so decided to add our own before we cover it back up once again.

It’s strange to think of all the feet that walked these floorboards before us!
Here’s to hoping we can add our own little mark the to the history of Pydar street too.

Josh writing 'Happy Piranha 2021' next to the other inscriptions left on the wall.
Notes left on a wall at the Happy Piranha building project from 1915 to 2021

We welcomed the scaffolders

Now it really looks like something's happening! The scaffolding has arrived along with the team at AA scaffolding to put it up.

This will be used to help get up high and fix any parts in the roof that aren't quite water tight. We wouldn't want any of our geeky activities getting dripped on!

The sun seems to have given us it's blessing today, it obviously approves of gaming and fun.

.Scaffolding arriving on a lorry at the Pydar Street games café project in Truro, Cornwall.

The team at AA Scaffolding erecting the Scaffolding outside the Pydar Street games café project in Truro, Cornwall.

We earmarked an area for the tavern

It may look like a pile of rubble at the moment (that's because it is), but a lot of you expressed the want for a tavern themed room to play your DnD campaigns in.

We've earmarked this cosy nook, which used to be a set of changing rooms in the downstairs of the building, as a potential place.

There's a bit of sweeping up to do before we invite our first punters in though. It seems the previous builders left all their rubbish behind the walls!

Hoping it will be a cool space for DnD and other TTRPG groups to book!

Josh clearing out what used to be the changing rooms and will now be a tavern themed room.

We brought out the big boys tools

We're running out of innuendos for update headings now so this may be the last of those.

Recently Happy Piranha Team member Matt (who also makes the glass art you can find in store), has been using his crafty hands for less delicate matters - to help uncover the original fireplace in the principal function room.

As well as bringing the Floo Network to Cornwall, we think reinstating this original feature will help give this room that epic edge. If you check out the picture below, there's an interesting slate vein that runs through the brickwork too.

Matt chipping away to uncover the fireplace in the principal function room.

The principal function room's fireplace after having been uncovered once again.

We gave the windows some love

Since they've been sitting unused for a while, some of the wooden windows are in need of love and care. We've taken them out to make repairs and give them a fresh coat of paint.

Repairing windows for the Happy Piranha Truro games café project building.

We got hot and steamy

We've also stripped off the horrible textured wall paper using a steamer to help highlight the decorative cornice work around the ceiling.

We've got some cool ideas for this ceiling...

Josh steaming off the textured ceiling wallpaper.

We became strippers for a week

We're working in what will be the principal function room to try and bring out the best in it's period features and turn it into somewhere epic to hang out.

Underneath the layers of white paint, there's some pretty cool woodwork that we want to show off in its original glory. 

It's slow work, but we think it's worth it!

Sam stripping paint off the skirting in what will be the principal function room.

Josh oiling the skirting board after it being stripped of paint and sanded.

Keep up to date

We'll update here as work progresses. Feel free to keep checking back, but we'll make sure to post when we make updates on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter too.

Also, if you have any fun ideas for how this space could be used, let us know! While we can't promise anything, we're keen to collect ideas for how you'd like to use this space and what it may need to do so, so that we can incorporate some of it into the project as we go.

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