26 January 2020 255 Linthorpe Rd, Middlesbrough TS1 4AT, UK

The new store on Linthrope Road, offering a mix of sci-fi themed food and gaming merchandise is enjoying its grand opening this weekend.  

Geek Retreat, a new comics and gaming cafe in Middlesbrough has opened its doors for the very first time this weekend.

A small queue of people could be seen shortly before 10am on Saturday morning, as self described 'nerds' expectantly waited to get their first taste of this brand new local venue on Linthorpe Road.

Once inside, options on the menu included a range of signature sci-fi themed milkshake creations, such as the 'Jaffa The Hutt' - perhaps unsurprisingly, consisting of a blend of Jaffa Cakes and ice cream.

Also available are a range toasties, burgers and desserts; helping to ensure gamers enjoying a marathon session of their favourite fantasy based board, dice or card games can maintain energy levels and focus throughout battle.

Additionally duelling as a specialist retailer, a ride range of gaming accessories are available to purchase, with a range of other world gaming events planned to be held in the near future.

"Absolutely manic, but genuinely surprised"

Speaking with franchisee and store manager, Gered Langley during a brief quiet period, "absolutely manic, but genuinely surprised", was his honest appraisal on how a busy opening morning had gone.

"We've been trying to network," said Gered, discussing his promotional efforts via social media and word of mouth through friends, before adding "I'm really pleased with the feedback straight away."

Opened through the Glasgow based company, this latest Geek Retreat supplements a growing presence in the North-East with stores in Newcastle and Leeds.

For Gered, having formerly worked in the local care sector across a number of positions for 10-years, to make the change into running his own business is certainly a bold one.

But he was to explain that this move was about re-finding his passion for connecting with people through a shared interest, further commenting on how the move into management roles within the care sector meant his job had become "less about looking after the people and more about the admin"

"I wanted to do something that was my thing and I really enjoyed doing." continued the Dungeons & Dragons and Atari fan and it's clear Gered has huge aspirations for the place with plans for "free events" and "weekly tournaments" at the forefront of his plans.

Asked to describe his new venue to those curious in coming to try, Gered said, "it's a be-all shop for anything geeky, its a cafe first and then its a shop" before closing with a simple pitch on why you should come down;

"You can just come in, bring your own games to play, enjoy the environment and get to meet new people."

The Public's reaction: "I think it's quite essential"

One of the first on the scene to try out the new venue were friends Carl, Lee, Lowri, Marc and La.

Interrupting a game of Magic the Gathering to ask of their first impressions, they prove to be a tough but appreciative crowd.

"Could do with some work, but getting there" said Carl. "It's fresh and definitely something that was needed in Middlesbrough, I think it's going to gain traction."

"I think it's quite essential" added Lowri who explained that other options like playing online didn't feel the same.

Away from the mystical gaming, the more traditional board game of Monopoly could be found on the table of Jonathan and Fiona, who had brought their children Edward and James to Geek Retreat as a special reward for good school work earlier in the week.

Commenting on how the new venue was"really good for kids", Jonathan would go on to highlight a further important benefit of coming out to play at Geek Retreat;

"They cheat more in the house" he quipped, "and there's too many distractions, like electronic devices."

Another there for the opening were Marc and Kirsty, who had both spent the morning enjoying Geek Retreat's retro console and catching some Pokemon.

"I think it's great" said Mark, who also commented that anything "nerdy" is a big draw for him.

And for Kirsty, who revealed she was a "reluctant" Pokemon Go convert, she felt the new venue providing some different for Middlesbrough.

"It's not like anything in the area. It's good."

Geek Retreat can be found at 255 Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough (close to the mini Tesco) and is open 11am - 9pm weekedays, 10am - 8pm Saturday and 12pm - 7am Sunday.

More details on upcoming events can be found on the Geek Retreat, Middlesbrough Facebook page;

Post a comment

Latest Instagrams

© The Southernist. Design by FCD.