A NEW ‘geek culture’ cafe with free to read comics and arcade games is set to open its doors in Blackburn later this month.

Geek Retreat, on Church Street, will serve food and drink and serve as a hub for fans of comics, trading cards, table top games and boardgames.

Manager Linda Holden said staff will create a family-friendly environment and are looking forward to welcoming customers, while the feedback from local people shows how eager they are to sample Geek Retreat’s hospitality.

She said: “The positivity from the local community has been amazing, people stop us outside the store and tell us it’s just what Blackburn needs.”

Geek Retreat has branches throughout the UK, however the new Blackburn branch will be the first in East Lancashire, with the chain’s only other outlets in the North West until now being in Bury and Liverpool.

This Is Lancashire: Preparations: The grand opening is set for June 26

Many of the other branches host regular events like comic book signings, games tournaments and quizzes.

Though the coronavirus crisis curtailed activities like these, the easing of restrictions means that they could soon become fixtures at the Blackburn branch, formerly restaurant Gioia.

Mrs Holden, who will be running the venue alongside husband Chris, has planned a special opening on Saturday June 26.

This Is Lancashire: Cafe: Food and drinks will be on sale

She said: “We will be joined by Cosplay characters, including Captain America!”

She added: “Our cafe will sell hot food and drink, milkshakes, coffee, American candy and more.

“Geek Retreat specialises in table top card games such as Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokémon, Magic: The Gathering, Transformers, Dragon Ball Z, not forgetting Dungeons and Dragons.

"Free to read comics and free to play board games are available, as well as a video game area and an amazing retro arcade area.”

To find out more, visit facebook.com/GeekRetreatBlackburn.