In a small street in the city of Haarlem is a store located that seemed to be stuck in the past. When you enter the store it feels like entering an time capsule. It’s the type of store every gamer loves to know, and loves to visit once in a while to discover the holy grail, to expand your collection, in one of the boxes located in the shop. Welcome to The Gameshop Haarlem!
The Gameshop Haarlem was founded 28 years ago by Wim van Trigt in the Barrevoetestraat in Haarlem. The store has been since 1991 on the same location, when you enter the store you will be thrown back in time. The days when you bought your games in the store and not online. How did The Gameshop Haarlem survive the digital madness of this day? In my opinion because Wim is one of the last store owners who appreciate its customers and takes the time to help.
I’m myself an huge retro gamer, having lots of consoles and games and love to visit Haarlem I looked up for game stores and thrift stores in Haarlem. Google showed me some results and there was the Gameshop Haarlem. My first opinion “This could be an interesting find” it was better it felt like entering gamers heaven.
I visited Gameshop Haarlem a couple of times now, with a new visit planned soon, and every time you enter the store it’s an new experience. Hidden secrets are stashed in boxes on the floors, in forgotten corners ready to be discovered and to be taken to home. Wim, the owner, is one of the last of his generation still owning a store he is in his 70s not planning to sell the store to someone else or to stop with it. He takes the time to help you and is always willing to have a small talk. To be honest I come to discover the hidden treasures in one of the boxes and to have some talk with Wim. Do you know any owner that offers you coffee? Well I only know one.
Besides Wim is a really nice guy (some interesting fact he didn’t like games in the beginning at all) the store offers a variation of consoles and their games to go through. Just to give you an idea there is stock for the NES, SNES, Playstation, Playstation 2/3/4, Gameboy, Nintendo Wii, Sega Saturn, Sega Dreamcast, Sega Genesis, Sega-CD, Nintendo 64, variation of Atari consoles and so on. Be fair do you know any stores where you can find them just in the displays? I bet you don’t. Besides the games The Gameshop Haarlem has also an variation of DVD’s and Blu-rays on stock.
There is even a service were your console can be fixed, and there is an guarantee that the games work. And you can always return for service.
I should not forget to mention the open atmosphere that’s there in the shop. You can search for the holy grail of gaming on the shells though as well by opening boxes that haven’t been opened for years. The Gameshop Haarlem is a place where people meet each other as well. During the times I visited I met many people who are like me interested in retro gaming and in socializing. It’s truly the place to be.
So the most important how to find the shop. Well if you just start to walk there is a big chance you will get lost in the city and end up in one of the lovely narrow street Haarlem is rich of. Though if you end up in the street you can’t miss it. As the shop has Sonic The Hedgehog as banner outside next to the door. It’s an 15 minute walk from Central station, see the map here. Or enter Barrevoetestraat 12 in your navigation.
The shopped is opened from Tuesday until Friday from 12:00 – 17:30 and on Saturday; 12:00 – 17:00. The Gameshop Haarlem has also it’s own website, and social media. However, there isn’t much done with Social media.