The new boss of the Friargate store says he plans to take it “to the next level” as it relaunches this weekend.
Manager Chris Holden, who also runs Geek Retreat Blackburn, is inviting the city’s gaming community to a relaunch party from 10am on Saturday when there will be consoles and board games to play for free. Cos players can enjoy a free milkshake.
Party-goers will have an exclusive first look at the shop’s makeover, which includes more stock and consoles, LED lighting and a relaxing “cosy corner”.
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Chris, 42, said: “It was a little bit stale before, so I want to go to the next level, and I like a challenge.
“We’re doing a little couch and cafe area to chill out in and making it a bit more of a cosy corner.
“We still have card games, Pokemon cards, tables for Dungeons and Dragons, and Warhammer, plus an X-Box, a Nintendo Switch and a Playstation but we want to bring in some retro consoles like Nintendo Mega Drive.”
Chris, whose background is in maintenance work, began making his own arcade machines during lockdown, building one with thousands of classic games like Pac Man, The Simpsons and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
He said: “I was fed up with my day job and when I came across Geek Retreat, I thought it seemed like a fun thing to do. I went to look at the Glasgow store and thought they were missing a trick.”
Chris, who has been running Geek Retreat Blackburn for nearly a year, added: “Lots of people say Blackburn is the best store without a shadow of a doubt because we have so many things [on offer]."
The arcade ace also plans to bring some of his most popular ideas from Blackburn to Preston.
“I want to build a room for playing Dungeons and Dragons, as well as a next-level room for VR and Playstation 5. It has totally changed the Blackburn business.”
But for now, he adds: “I want people to come and see the store and give Preston another chance.”
The store is open 11am to 9pm, Monday to Friday, and 10am to 8pm, Saturday and Sunday.