The Secret Lair
The Secret Lair
secretlair
Owned By Nima Jones
Business Function Comics, Gaming & Collectibles Store
Opened March 23rd, 1983
Hours Monday-Saturday 11AM-1AM, Sunday 11AM-11PM
Employees Tito (NPC)
Regulars Courier Fanboy (NPC)

The Secret Lair is a comic book, gaming & collectibles store that is a long-standing part of the East Village. It is located on St. Mark's Place (aka 8th Street), near the NE corner of 2nd Avenue, and possesses something of an iconic status in the neighborhood. Although there are larger shops in the 5 Boroughs, The Secret Lair has won a plethora of industry awards for its chick-friendly atmosphere and selection of empowering female titles. Since 2004, numerous respected trade magazines have repeatedly voted it one of the best stores in the Tri-State Area.

In 2007, a new branch opened in Philadelphia. The following year brought a location in Boston. As of mid-2009, The Secret Lair is a well-established and highly successful franchise, respected by the Who's Who of the comic book community.

Overview

This is truly a fandom paradise.

Genres are well-organized and well-represented. Collectibles. Models. Comic books. Graphic novels. Manga in English and Japanese. Subtitled and non-subtitled anime. Cult films. Video games. Role playing games. T-shirts representing all kinds of geekery. Costumes. Sci-Fi. Fantasy. It's all here in a multi-tiered amount of space that is surprising for the neighborhood. Special orders can even be placed on consignment.

Unlike most such establishments, it is not uncommon to find a lot of XX to go with the XY, largely because the store is very chick-friendly. That might have something to do with the shrine dedicated to Samus Aran of Metroid fame. Or with the cute, lovable, four-legged fuzzies wandering about. Namely, the large, shaggy, brown mutt known as Chewbacca, and the Russian blue cat named after the greatest Thundercat ever: Panthro.

It also helps that the place smells really good.

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Establishment History

Opened by Billy and Mary Jones in 1983, The Secret Lair has been in the same spot on St. Mark's Place, for all these years. Despite the shop's somewhat iconic status in the East Village, it's kept up with the times and is maintained in quite spiffy shape, as befits a total labor of love. When the Joneses mysteriously disappeared in March of 2004, there was some concern that the store would vanish with them. By May, regular business hours returned. On August 18, ownership was legally transferred to their daughter, who has gone on to make it a very successful venture.

IC Timeline

March 21, 2007: Nima thwarts a seeming burglary of the store. After a somewhat amicable interrogation of the perps, she finds herself in need of a new front window, some improved security measures, and more than likely drawn into a muderous mystery that involves a search for the Philosopher's Stone.

September 2007: The Secret Lair [Philadelphia] opens.

November 2008: Kory ceases being the NYC store manager. In fact, she no longer works there at all.

December 2008: Just in time for the holiday rush, The Secret Lair [Boston] opens its doors to sell lots of awesome. Industry naysayers predict financial doom for so quickly expanding, especially in a slagging economy.

April 2009: My Hero is released to critical acclaim and commercial success, resulting in fans from across the globe making treks to the different shops. The flagship store in NYC is particularly swamped and quarterly returns for the franchise are well into the black.

Interesting Information

  • Up until his death in August of 2004, Johnny Ramone was a regular customer. Marky Ramone still drops by, from time to time. An autographed copy of 'Weird Tales of The Ramones' is on-display in a glass cabinet.
  • One-shot RPG campaigns are often held to try new games and supplemental source material.
  • Members of 'The Secret Society' get a $10 voucher for every $100 spent (not including sales tax).
  • The Secret Lair has the only publically available copies of Mary Jones' "Adventures of Amazonia" underground comic title from the seventies.
  • After 9/11, The Secret Lair donated thousands of dollars worth of merchandise to the children of Fire Fighters and Police Officers who served at Ground Zero. To this day, those children still get sizeable discounts.
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