Geek Retreat gaming cafe and store opening in Preston's St George's Shopping Centre next month

The new store will be at 3 Friargate, in St George's Shopping Centre.

By Aimee Seddon
Friday, 21st January 2022, 4:13 pm

A Geek Retreat store, which describes itself as being a 'geek culture' retailer, gaming café, and events hub rolled into one, is set to open in Preston city centre next month.

With the grand opening currently planned for the end of February, the store will sell games and 'geeky' merchandise, covering everything from gaming and superhero movies to anime and sci-fi.

Situated in St George's Shopping Centre, Geek Retreat Preston will also offer a meeting place for people to play a variety of games for free in store, including board games and consoles, and to eat and drink, with their very own café selling milkshakes and burgers.

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Geek Retreat Preston will be ran by business partners, Callum Watson and Danny Chapman

The Preston franchise, which will run weekly gaming events and pre-launch weekends as well as offering an event space for the local community, has been set up by game lovers Callum Watson, 25, from Helmshore and Danny Chapman, 23, from Haslingden.

Callum told the Post: "Basically we don't want it to be just for gamers. Both hard-core gamers and people who have never touched a game in the life can come down, have some food, they can feel safe and just make new friends really.

"We're also holding events, so we're hoping to have safe spaces for those with autism, where we'll have set days for them to come down when we'll have no music and they can feel safe, and we'll do days for other disabilities as well. We're also holding coffee mornings for those who are a bit older, and family board games days.

"So we want it to be all about inclusivity, we're not just for those who play games, if you don't like games, you could still come down and just have a coffee or a drink instead."

All the games in this image will be available to play for free in store and to buy yourself.

Although a specific date has not been set for the grand opening, it is planned to be a fun event for all.

Callum explained: "We're having cosplay people coming down, we're having a company called called Lightning and Friends, who are bringing down Lightning McQueen, Spiderman and Captain America and stuff like that.

"We're also doing an offer where we'll give a free drink to anyone who comes in cosplay, and we're considering giving the first 10 people who come down, for example, a membership card for like 10% off and that's permanent. So yeah, we're planning a lot more but we just haven't set the exact day yet."

It seems there is a ready-made demand for a gaming store in Preston already, as earlier this week the Post asked it's readers on Facebook what they would want to see come to the city, with such a venue popping up in the replies.

The 'geek culture' retailer, gaming café, and events hub is set open at some point next month.

One user said he wanted a store like "Afflecks in Manchester", which sell similarly eclectic items, or "Forbidden Planet", a science fiction, fantasy and horror bookshop chain.

Another user simply said "pokemon goods", whilst a third commented "Shop[s] [like] worlds apart/forbidden planet. We NEED a geeky store. HMV just isn't good enough for us geeks and nerds lol".

There are currently 47 Geek Retreat stores across the UK, with the next closest one to Preston being in Blackburn.

You can keep track of any updates on the Preston store by liking their Facebook page.

Although only the downstairs will be used for the game café and store at the moment, upstairs will offer an event space.