With one of its venues hidden on a backstreet in the Northern Quarter, gaming bar NQ64 has just released a new menu of cocktails all inspired by retro movies, console and arcade games.
From the Ms Stay Puft, which nods to cult film favourite Ghostbusters, to the Super Coco Ball, inspired by the arcade game Super Monkey Ball, each drink embraces a different element of gaming culture.
The subterranean drinking den, which has two sites in Manchester – one in the Northern Quarter and a second on Peter Street – has proven a huge favourite since its arrival in Manchester – allowing locals to revel in nostalgia by button-bashing on classic machines such as Time Crisis, Pac Man and The Simpsons.
Now, it’s released a brand new cocktail menu – and we’re a little bit obsessed.
Think fruity spritzes inspired by the Mario series, like the Mega Daisy (a combination of lychee, elderflower, orange and prosecco), and the Fantasia, a Fanta-topped sour cherry margarita that nods to the iconic Final Fantasy series.
Elsewhere, you’ll find the Simpsons-inspired Lake Springfield, combining JD Apple, melon liqueur and Toxic Waste Cordial, and non-alcoholic options like the No Uka Uka (made with Refresher sweetie syrup, guava, pineapple and lime) and Driver Spritz (Crodino Aperitivo 0%, candied strawberry, lemon and soda).
The neon-splattered bars originally launched on the Northern Quarter’s Short Street in 2019 before opening its second site on Peter Street in 2021.
Full of retro arcade games and classic consoles, gaming fans can sip on cocktails, craft beers and spirit mixers whilst playing all of their favourites – including the likes of Pac-Man, Time Crisis 2 and Guitar Hero will be additions such as the Mario Kart arcade game, Time Crisis 3 and NBA Jam.
Arcade games are played using a token system, whilst elsewhere there are a selection MegaDrive, PlayStations, GameCube and Super Nintendo consoles for people to get stuck into.
All the new drinks are available now, with both bars open late until 2am every night of the week. To find out more, visit the NQ64 website here and follow the bars on Instagram here.
Feature image – NQ64
Inside One Eight Six as Manchester cocktail bar finally reopens two years after devastating New Year’s Eve fire
One Eight Six, the Manchester cocktail bar that was destroyed in a blaze on New Year’s Eve, is finally ready to reopen.
The stunning subterranean bar and live music venue has been closed since the very early hours of 2022, when a fire broke out shortly after the midnight countdown.
Terrifying CCTV footage at the time showed balloons across the ceiling catching fire and around 170 people fleeing the blaze.
It’s since been confirmed that the cause of the fire was real pine Christmas trees that were fastened to the ceiling, set alight by celebratory sparklers inside the bar.
Ever since that fateful night, One Eight Six has been quiet – until now.
The popular Deansgate bar is finally ready to quite literally rise from the ashes, having undergone an extensive refurbishment.
Its interior was completely destroyed in the New Year’s Eve fire, but has been reborn better than ever before.
Customers will again enter the bar through a barbershop at street level, with in incredible twisting neon light feature hanging from the ceiling.
Then after heading down the stairs you’ll find yourself in an art deco speakeasy, with the stage set for live music until the early hours.
Huge curved velvet booths in shades of pink and red will provide guests with a luxurious night out setting.
One Eight Six has installed opulent black marble floors and glowing light arches too – not to mention a giant ‘One Eight Six’ sign in mirrors.
Walls and pillars have been covered in even more mirrors to reflect the huge mirror ball and stage lights.
Founder Dean Mac said: “After nearly two years, we are finally allowed to be back on our feet giving the people of Manchester what they have been waiting so patiently for.
“Thank you again for sticking with us and supporting our journey this far. This new chapter of ONE EIGHT SIX will be better than ever. Same vibe. Same location. Just a whole lot sexier…”
It’s all looking pretty luxurious – just like before.
One Eight Six will officially open its doors this weekend on Deansgate, with bookings live here.