WERNERSVILLE, Pa. - A popular destination for Warhammer 40,000 and other tabletop games is nearing its end, but a new store is in the works in Berks County.
From the Ashes Gaming, offering sales of tabletop and trading card games along with space for game nights, hobby nights and other events, is "coming to an end" in mid-June at 600 E. Penn Ave. in Wernersville, according to a post on the business' Facebook page.
Owner Joe Potteiger opened the store in summer 2020 at the West Gate Shoppes strip mall.
The store has become a well-loved hub for new and seasoned gamers to gather and play Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, Flesh and Blood, Pokemon and other games.
"I have to say this was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. I’ve been struggling with this for the past year," the announcement continues. "The stress of the store has caused many a sleepless night. Now the thought of not having the store is causing more sleepless nights."
"In the end it is the best decision for me. Don’t worry the name will be gone, but like the phoenix, the store will be reborn. It may be under a new name and new ownership, but the store will stay. This is very bitter sweet, but has to be done."
It's unclear who will be taking over the space and what the exact plans are for it, but another store is coming and an announcement should be made soon.
"As of June 12, From the Ashes Gaming will no longer be," the post states. "Stay tuned for the next chapter of 600 East Penn Avenue… Until then it is business as usual."
From the Ashes Gaming was "born out of a perfect storm and necessity," Potteiger said in the online post.
When Owl Central Games & Hobbies moved from Berks County to Lancaster County, the Reading area was left without a store to accommodate tabletop miniature gaming.
"That along with the fact that I was in the midst of my worst year of teaching, I thought opening a store was a good idea," Potteiger said. "Coming from ZERO retail experience, what could possibly go wrong. Well with a lot of help, guidance, and loyal customers this idea grew into something special. It was not always easy, but truthfully the support is what kept me going."
Potteiger thanked the community for its support over the years, and the community in turn thanked Potteiger.
Dozens of gamers commented on Thursday's post to extend warm wishes to Potteiger, who noted that his next journey could include actually hanging out and playing games.
"Joe it was very impressive what you did with FTA…going from just an idea to a gaming destination," one person wrote. "You brought joy to a lot of people. Looking forward to playing some games with you sometime soon."
"You were the best game shop owner Joe Potteiger," another person commented. "We always think of your shop as 'Joes place' because you made it as welcoming as a home for gamers. Hope this vibe lives on! Really happy for you!"
"Thank you so much for creating a fun and inclusive place to play games," another person wrote. "I wish you the best and hope to see you around the store nerding out with the rest of us!"