Galesburg has seen a rather surprising expansion of specialty small businesses in the past few months, given the dismal state of the economy. Alternate Realities follows in the footsteps of venues like Stone Alley bookstore in providing goods and services of particular interest to Knox students. Owner Brad Price has already seen significant interest in his stock of comic books and tabletop gaming items since the opening of the store on Dec. 16.
“This town has been starved,” Price said.
Located at 235 E. Main Street in the Main Street Mall along with Jimmy John’s, another new business, Alternate Realities occupies a section of the downstairs area. The shop hosts a selection of Marvel, DC, and independent comics, as well as family board games and tabletop games of all kinds.
“I knew there were a lot of people gaming around town, and thought it would complement the comics,” Price said.
Based partly on the success that he observed fellow small business owner Ben ‘Stone’ Stomberg having with comic sales, Price decided that the market was there for other comic producers as well.
“We saw what Stone was doing [with comics], and figured we could support the gambit,” Price said.
Price plans on having a grand opening by May 1, Free Comic Day, after expanding the store and the stock it offers.
“Business has been much better than we originally thought it would be,” Price said, with an estimated 10-12 new customers per day coming through the shop.
Expansion plans include an increased selection of comics and games, as well as new and vintage arcade games and possibly Xbox and Wii gaming stations. Furthermore, Alternate Realities provides rooms for reservation for private games, at $1 per person.
Alternate Realities hours:
Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Wednesday 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.