A local comic book and game store has gotten a much-needed makeover.
Bell Book and Comic, which has been located at 458 Patterson Road in Patterson Park Plaza for nearly 15 years, expanded into a third space last year.
The shop had already annexed another storefront two doors down in 2011 and was using that space as a gaming area.
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Owner Pete Bell explains, “When the tanning salon closed in the middle in 2016, we got it from the landlord. We spent most of '17 renovating it to make it one store.”
Bell and his team took out part of the wall separating the original storefront and the new space. The result is a welcoming location that has more retail square footage to spread out Bell Book and Comic’s selection of new comics, back issues, and games.
“We wanted there to be more of a distinction between the comic books and toys in one area and then your games and gaming supplies in the other side, close to the gaming annex,” says Bell. “It's a lot more streamlined for customers to shop.“
The shop’s wide selection of board games will now greet shoppers entering Bell Book and Comic. Due to the limitations of the original shop’s shotgun layout, these games had previously been hidden away in the back room.
Bell says the new layout is paying off.
“I've sold six different boardgames today,” he told Dayton.com.
Visitors shopping for comics will also enjoy Bell Book and Comic’s new floorplan. The back issue comic books now share the same room as the new comics. Readers missing an issue can quickly grab it while picking up that week’s titles.
Bell Book and Comic also sports a good selection of action figures and toys, table top role-playing books and supplies, and a room full of used science fiction and fantasy novels.
Though his shop may be seeing changes, Bell says it’s the same old comic books that sell the most.
“Walking Dead... Spiderman... Batman…”
But he says he can see a new-felt comfort on his customer’s faces. “I've noticed a difference already in the demeanor of people who come in. They go ‘Oh my god, this is what you needed for so long.’ I hear that a lot,” Bell says.
When asked if he wants to take over the entire strip of storefronts in Patterson Park Plaza, Bell doesn’t rule it out.
“I hope to,” he says.
Want to go?
WHAT: Bell Book and Comic
WHERE: 458 Patterson Road, Dayton