A BOARD game café and comic book shop has officially shut down but the owners haven't given up hope of a revival.

Geek Retreat has confirmed its Northwich branch will be staying closed after bailiffs began seizing property from the Barons Quay unit over rent arrears accumulated during the Covid lockdowns.

The franchise’s owners, Callum Franchetti and Kyle Preece, raised nearly £2,000 in a bid to save Geek Retreat, but this was not enough.

A spokesperson for the chain of board game cafes said: “The Northwich Geek Retreat store has regrettably agreed that it must close its doors.

“Despite the franchisees efforts, they were unable to raise sufficient funds to settle significant outstanding debts with their landlord.

“We would like to thank Callum and Kyle for being part of Geek Retreat and wish them all the best for the future.”

READ MORE: ‘Heartbreak’ for board game café as bailiffs begin seizing stock 

Northwich Guardian: Geek Retreat has been forced to close due to significant debtGeek Retreat has been forced to close due to significant debt (Image: Geek Retreat)Kyle and Callum felt they had made Geek Retreat Northwich a “community hub”.

As such, they have not given up hope of reopening at a new location.

The Geek Retreat spokesperson added: “While this marks a challenging chapter for the team, they are committed to taking the necessary time to seek a new investor and potentially to return to the franchise when they are well-capitalised, which they hope to achieve within the next two years.”

A message from the franchise owners was shared on the cafes Facebook page.

It read: “Thank you to our brilliant Geek Retreat Northwich team, James, Shane and everyone who’s joined us on our journey.

“We’ll endeavour to create a new safe space as soon as we can.”

ALSO READ: Barons Quay responds after Geek Retreat café and comic book shop forced to shut

Barons Quay, is owned by Cheshire West and Chester Council, with estate agents Savills acting as the landlord’s agent and managing the centre on behalf of the council.

“The council has been told by the landlord that Geek Retreat have only made one single payment of rent since occupying the premises in 2020,” said a spokesperson for Barons Quay.

“We have been informed that Savills have made repeated requests for outstanding rent since 2020 but they have not been responded to, which is why the landlord has taken action.

“It is very sad when companies get into financial difficulty and the council will continue to provide help and business support where possible, as it did with Geek Retreat.

"However, the council has a responsibility to residents and businesses to collect payments that are due to help fund essential services that communities rely on.”