Like many others, Melissa and Tyler Oswald have redefined the word nerd.
“The term nerd is just misunderstood. A nerd is just someone who is really passionate about something—and there’s nothing wrong with that.”
The couple behind Nerd Alert, an arcade and timeless trinket shop, were so passionate about expanding, they moved from the outskirts of Chicago to Memphis, where they saw potential for their brand, and community of nerds to grow.
Tyler explained their decision to choose Cooper Young for their novelty shop:
“Where our shop was before, was a small town, and we kind of hit our max with how many we could get through that place. The space was tiny. We were renting. Where as, here we bought property. We gutted the place and we are choosing to invest in it here.”
Nerd Alert is a nod to an ‘oddity and curiosities’ expositions, according to co-owner Melissa Oswald. The inventory consists of 80’s-era pieces fused with gamer, horror and retro relics and gifts. Their space houses classic arcade games like Pac-Man, Super Mario, and more—and they sell unique treats like a soda called Unicorn Yak and candy canes that are mac-n-cheese flavored. Need I say more?
“I think there is an enchantment around gaming. And gaming in the arcade has the added captivating value of nostalgia.”
Because Nerd Alert offers unlimited play, you won’t have to break you bank to kick it there all day. $10 is all you need, Monday through Saturday, and it only costs $5 on Sundays—or you can get the most bang for your buck and buy a month-long pass for $35. They’ve even got designated days set weekly for the youngest nerds to get in on the good times at a discounted rate.
Gaming tournaments are unfortunately on pause, but will be hosted again once the pandemic is over. For now, limited capacity is permitted, and social distancing and masks are required.