STAFF at a board game café and comic book shop have been left 'heartbroken' after bailiffs began seizing their property.

Geek Retreat in Barons Quay is facing permanent closure after failing to pay rent arrears accumulated during the Covid lockdowns.

On Saturday (August 12) bailiffs were sent to start removing every item of stock to be auctioned off, including personal items belonging to franchise owners Callum Franchetti and Kyle Preece.

“The past couple days have been heartbreaking,” said Kyle.

“As Northwich lads, it is so frustrating to see what seemingly will become another empty, unused, space on Barons Quay.

“All through something that could have hopefully been avoided if the landlord could have potentially met us halfway.


“Unfortunately, it seems they would prefer us to be closed for good.”

Northwich Guardian: Inside Geek RetreatInside Geek Retreat (Image: Geek Retreat)

READ MORE: Northwich lads to fulfil their dream by opening new comic book store in Barons Quay

Kyle and Callum signed the tenancy agreement in 2019 and were told Barons Quay would be packed with businesses.

However, they feel the situation is 'wildly different', with the centre now a 'ghost town'.

The Geek Retreat's Barons Quay unit is managed by estate agents Savills on behalf of a landlord.

Kyle and Callum explained around 80 per cent of what they owe was accumulated while the country was in lockdown or in tiers which meant they could not operate their business model.

After sharing their situation on social media, Geek Retreat has been flooded with messages of support.

“It’s so humbling, we didn’t anticipate it,” said Kyle.


“We always wanted Geek Retreat to be a haven for anyone who needs it, somewhere without judgement where you can make like-minded friends.

“You can see that’s how the town thinks of it. I would ask them just to be reasonable.

“To some people this is more than a number on a spreadsheet, this is a community hub.”

The store has launched a GoFundMe which has already received more than £1,700 in donations.

On what comes next, Callum added: “If we can come to an agreement, it’s better for both sides if we stay where we are.

Northwich Guardian: Geek Retreat has become a haven, its owners sayGeek Retreat has become a haven, its owners say (Image: Supplied)

“What we are most concerned about is being able to provide a safe space and if Savills turn around and say we have to go then we will try to come back somewhere else.

“We don’t mind if it’s in Barons Quay, on the high street or in a tent in a field.”

Savills and Barons Quay have been approached for comment.