Bristol gaming shop and cafe Geek Retreat closes after two years

“It is one of the hardest things we have had to do”
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A “geek culture” retailer, gaming cafe and events hub in Bristol has closed after two years.   

Geek Retreat, which opened on St Augustine’s Parade close to the Hippodrome in 2022, shut its doors for the final time yesterday (April 14).       

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The space was one of a number of Geek Retreats across the country, hosting events such as trading card games, Pokémon club and meet-up groups.  

John Jones, who ran the shop, told BristolWorld the closure was brought on by “a combination of things” and he “does not blame anybody”.    

“It has been a very emotional four weeks with highs and lows,” he said. 

“We have been open for two years and became a real hub for community across all people from different walks of life. We really were inclusive.

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“The shop really helps people who are shy, isolated and alone to just come in and make friends. It would become their home. Events and groups welcomed people. It was the best thing we have ever done.”  

Jones said his partner, Kay, who helped him run the shop, is now looking to open a similar venue elsewhere.     

In the Geek Retreat Bristol Facebook group, she added: “Unfortunately, we do have to close the shop one last time. It is one of the hardest things we have had to do as we have built such an amazing, safe community for all.  

“We are looking at new avenues and our next steps, and will update as soon as we know but will take a few weeks off to collect ourselves and get over this before making a rushed decision. 

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“We thank everyone who has helped us as it is you guys that have made the last two years possible. We just gave you the safe space and we will again.”  

In the comments, people have reacted with sadness about the closure.

“What a shame, very sorry to hear this,” wrote one person.  

“So sorry to hear this. I hope you manage to find another venue,” added another.   

“Genuinely so gutted to hear this. Lovely and friendly space. Hopefully you can find a new building or somewhere to use in Bristol!” said a third. 

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