Portsmouth’s new coffee shop Geek Retreat set to welcome fans of comic books, board games, and superhero movies

A RETAIL coffee shop offering Portsmouth’s comic book and video game lovers a space to ‘relax and be geeky’ is preparing to open its doors.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 10:24 am

Geek Retreat, part of a franchise opening hundreds of stores across the UK, will welcome customers to its latest store in Arundel Street next month.

Fans of superhero movies, anime, and sci-fi will be able to gather at the coffee shop to enjoy their interests together.

As well as offering a space to meet, eat, trade and game, Geek Retreat stores also hold events such as comic book signings, games tournaments and quizzes.

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From left: Leah Blake, cosplaying as Bowsette, Gary Curtis, cosplaying as Captain America, James Price, cosplaying as Spider-man, co-owners Max Cooke and Beth Davis, and Tomas Deane, cosplaying as Super Mario. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 220621-09)

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The Portsmouth shop is being run by Bognor Regis couple Max Cooke and Beth Davis.

Max, 30, was a composite technician before taking up his new role as director of Geek Retreat Portsmouth.

Beth, 40, the shop’s manager, has several years experience working in multiple retail shops and pubs.

Co-owners Max Cooke and Beth Davis. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 220621-02)

Max said: ‘They were looking for more people to open up franchises, I went up to Scotland to talk with the CEOs to establish one here in Portsmouth.

‘We saw this come up and we went for it, it seemed like a good opportunity.

‘It’s the community itself, there’s a lot of geekiness in Portsmouth, Comic-Cons and Game-Cons, it seemed like the best place to set up a business like this.’

Cosplayers, from left, James Price as Spiderman, Gary Curtis as Captain America, Tomas Deane as Mario, and Leah Blake as Bowsette, with co-owners Max Cooke and Beth Davis both sitting on the sofa. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 220621-01)

The couple are currently painting and decorating the retail space in preparation for the big opening, which is estimated to take place sometime between July 10 and 17.

Max said: ‘I would consider myself a big geek, more towards video games more than anything, manga, but love all different types of geekiness, cosplays and Comic Cons, anything that’s geeky.’

The shop will be looking for two more people to join their team in the future.

Max added: ‘It’s a retail coffee shop, an environment where people can come in, eat and relax, play board games, read a comic book, and we’ll have an entertainment system where people can play, a space to relax and be geeky.

A Geek Retreat store is about to open in Arundel Street, Portsmouth. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 220621-03)

‘Hopefully it will bring people together.

‘Come and try it out, come in and join us, the geeky people are the most friendly!’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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Captain America and Spiderman. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 220621-05)