Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Retro finds room to grow

Kayla and Jon Minniear inside Rock' Em Sock 'Em Retro, 127 S. Main St.in downtown Bowling Green.

By DAVID DUPONT

BG Independent News

Kayla Minniear said she’s had her eye on the storefront at 127 S. Main in downtown Bowling Green for a while.

The space wasn’t available when she and her husband, Jon, opened Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Retro two years ago. So they settled into the former Mills Jewelry store a half block south on the other side of the street. 

Now the shop has moved into those more spacious quarters across the street.

“We had just outgrown that space,” Jon Minniear said. “We didn’t have enough space to put stuff out. We loved the old space, but this is bigger.”

Now, he said, he’s not tripping over everything.

Opening the store was something the couple discussed before they were married. 

Back when they were dating, Kayla Minniear said, they started collecting Nintendo games, and that expanded to other vintage items. Having a storefront to sell the surplus seemed a natural development.

Rock ’Em Sock ’Em sells video games dating to the Atari era, pop culture themed  items, action figures, vintage toys,  and some manga merchandise. They not only sell, but they also buy these items.

“We have a little something for everybody,” he said.

The storefront has a large vestibule that now has arcade games. That large entryway was one of the storefront’s appeals, Kayla Minniear said. One of the shop’s back rooms will be equipped for arcade game competition.

Another, Jon Minniear said, will be used to display art by the Black Sheep Shack. The company run by Caroline Lippert, Kayla Minniear’s mother, also did the signage for the shop.

The shop is doing well, John Minniear said. Because of Bowling Green State University, every year brings a new group of customers. Some customers who’d just discovered the shop this fall, even helped the couple move.

“We’ve made a lot of great friends, customers who come in regularly,” he said.

A year after Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Retro opened, Cameron’s Comics also opened on Main Street. Then in spring, at the encouragement of the Minniears, Joe Busch opened The Stacked Deck gaming shop across the alley from their original storefront.

Reflecting on these developments, Jon Minniear said: “We’re bringing nerd culture back.” 

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