Oh, those were the days… Nagging at your parents for a bit of change, before running off to the arcade with your mates and playing games until you’d spent every penny – and then repeating the whole process until those responsible for you got pretty fed up. And now, taking us all on one big nostalgic trip to better days is NQ64 – a unique gaming arcade and bar tucked away in The Custard Factory.
Glowing in a purple neon with a sign that gives a friendly nod to the dusty Nintendos stuffed away in our attics, the time capsule-like bar can be found next to Digbeth board game café Chance & Counters, just a hop away from the hustle and bustle of Birmingham’s city centre. But inside is where the fun really begins (obviously!) – with retro games galore greeting you as soon as you step through the illuminated doors.
Featuring a whole roster of retro favourites, the bar is home to a number of famous games – including Mortal Kombat, Pac Man, Street Fighter II, Tekken and newer classics such as Guitar Hero. If that wasn’t enough, the uber-cool spot also has its very own Sega Mega Drive, Super Nintendo, N64 and an original Playstation. It’s literally like the early 90s all over again – and we’re obsessed.
It’s not just about button mashing at NQ64 either. Alongside serving nostalgia and arcade games, it provides a range of game-themed cocktails to level-up your experience – plus craft beers too. Seven new cocktails have recently been added to the menu in fact, created by none other than the staff themselves.
The wackiest of these include the Final Fantasy-inspired Final Fantarita – a sour cherry margarita with tequila and Fanta – and the rum based Super Coco Ball, based of Super Monkey Ball, which incorporates brandy, cacao, banana, hazelnut and a Coco Pop milk blend.
“At NQ64 we are always looking for inspiration when it comes to our venues, whether this is through finding new arcade games or developing our bar menus,” said James Taylor, NQ64 Drinks Development and Training Manager. “With drinks being such a huge part of the NQ64 experience, we always like to keep the menu fresh with new and exciting twists on game inspired cocktails, using fun and unique ingredients that result in a delicious taste.”
NQ64 will also be launching up to four new arcade games across each of their sites this November. The games work on a token-basis, with 15 tokens costing just £6, and most games accepting just one token to play. The bar is child-free, too, so you can rest assured you can crack on with your game without the interruption of an innocent-looking 10-year-old desperate to pinch your machine.