Game Repair Shop ‘xCubicle’ Powers Down Essex Street HQ After 10 Years
Gamers, pay heed. xCubicle, the longstanding video game repair shop at Essex and Hester Streets, vacated the block last week after nearly a decade serving the community. A banner strung from the building facade over the weekend announces the departure.
We spoke to co-owner Pat Chen, who revealed that the lease is up on 25 Essex Street. Renewal was apparently too steep (at “restaurant prices”), so he decided to pivot and relocate operations to Wall Street. In the process, xCubicle is transitioning the business from repair work to focusing on Bitcoin. Chen explained how then company has been involved in the virtual currency since 2012, and would like to offer classes again. The new headquarters at 48 Wall Street – a co-working space – is a “more appropriate area” for the business now, tells us.Meanwhile, word on the street is that the cramped creperie in the adjoining cubby next door is looking to expand into the corner space. They’ve apparently expressed interest to the landlord in taking on the lease, but we’ve been unable to confirm. Guess the Lure Outdoor storage space isn’t long for the world, either.
xCubicle was founded in 2007 by Patrick Cheng and Suesan Cha. What started as a design and programming outfit morphed into a mini service center. For the first five years, repairs and such were conducted in a cramped eight-by-five-foot workshop at 23 Essex Street (hence, the moniker). On any given day it was teeming with scattered tools and gutted game consoles. Their bread and butter included mail-in repair options, used video games, and buybacks of old systems at a nominal price (mainly for parts). Business thrived and the venture eventually moved down to the corner of Hester Street in 2012. It was around this time that the crew began focusing on Bitcoin.
The company then downsized its videogame repair shop last July, having shuffled over to the adjacent (and adjoining) space on Hester Street. The move was a concerted push to ditch the retail and refocus efforts on servicing equipment.