Nostalgia and the noughties are having quite the moment right now, and let’s be honest, nothing says Y2K quite like spending your Friday night in a Blockbuster.
Since the closure of the popular video-rental chain in 2014, there’s famously been just one left in the world in Bend, Oregon. Until now, that is (well, sort of).
Due to open on Manchester’s Oldham Street later this month, Blockbusters NQ will pay homage to the glory days of video rental with a new video shop-themed bar.
It comes from the owners of Chakalaka, the Northern Quarter’s South African bar and restaurant, which sits just across the road from the new space.
Decked out in the Blockbuster’s signature yellow and blue colour scheme, just like the real thing its walls are covered in video cassettes and old TVs playing cult classics, with a stereo belting out soundtracks from decades past for the ultimate nostalgia trip.
Split across two floors, its main floor is modelled on the classic Blockbuster store set up and even includes a ‘naughty films’ section hidden at the back.
Downstairs, meanwhile, black walls, velvet chairs, and a sparkly stage for performances lend a cinematic feel to the bar’s entertainment space.
Drinks-wise, cocktails include the VHS’presso martini (garnished with a VHS-style liquorice swirl), a G&T with a pomegranate twist (amusingly called the PG &T) and the Alcopop-corn cocktail, a creamy and sweet popcorn inspired drink.
Blockbusters NQ will also serve popcorn in quirky flavours like roast chicken and beef burger.
Speaking on the new opening, owner Stewart Dean said: “I truly wanted to make somewhere special that people get excited by.
“I was a huge fan of video stores and my favourite bars are those that immerse you in a secret or provide a bit of an escape.
“I thought what better homage to an iconic part of our history than to create a parody of Blockbuster, one where you can drink, and the only returns here are for another hit of fun and nostalgia.”
A message on the bar’s website adds: “F*ck the future. Back in the day Blockbuster was everywhere.
“We miss it and we think it’s about time the brand made a return – one where you can drink, and the only returns here are for another hit of fun and nostalgia.
“Blockbusters NQ is not the best ‘streaming’ service, but we are the best ‘get you steaming’ service. We have a modern list of cocktails and a casual and friendly atmosphere. We are here to stay well into the future so be kind and rewind with us.”
Blockbusters NQ is set to open on 27 May in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. To keep up with its progress ahead of the opening date, follow the bar on Instagram here.
Feature image – Instagram / supplied
Andy Burnham wants to help more girls get into football
Andy Burnham has urged schools to do more to encourage young girls to get into football.
The Greater Manchester Mayor was speaking to Sky News‘ Kay Burley on Thursday, 8 December as he discussed the importance of promoting more women in football and sport, in general.
Burnham said that himself, the FA and notable women’s football advocates like former keeper Karen Bardsley are “determined” to make sure the buzz following the Women’s Euros isn’t just a flash in the pan.
With the England men’s team currently trying to replicate the Lionesses‘ success as they prepare for the quarter-final of the 2022 World Cup, he went on to emphasise the lasting memories football can create on a global scale.
The Mayor went on to say that with the help of schools across the UK, they hope to “make sure that the success the Lionesses had in the summer becomes a permanent legacy”, imploring schools, the sporting community and the nation at large “not let those summer memories fade”.
Insisting that he already feels the heroics of Euro 2022 have already had an impact when it comes to inspiring more girls to get into football.
He said that the uptake among “women in football” since the tournament has been “amazing” but warned educators and parents not to “leave it to chance” and provide the support to make “real change”.
Coins with King Charles III’s face on have officially entered circulation today
The Royal Mint has announced that the first coins to bear the effigy of King Charles III have officially entered circulation today.
In what marks the historic transition from Queen Elizabeth II to King Charles III on the public’s money, following the passing of the former back in September after 70 years on the throne, the first coins to bear The King’s portrait – are 50 pence pieces, and they will start to appear in circulation in Post Offices around the UK from today.
The coins not only bear The King’s face, but are also said to commemorate the life and legacy of the late monarch.
The reverse of the 50 pence features a design that originally appeared on the 1953 Coronation Crown, and includes the four quarters of the Royal Arms depicted within a shield, and in between each shield is an emblem of the home nations – a rose, a thistle, a shamrock, and a leek.
4.9 million 50 pence coins with King Charles III’s face on have been sent to UK Post Offices today.
The coin will first begin being distributing as change when customers make a purchase in store, The Royal Mint explains, before a total of 9.6 million 50ps eventually enter circulation in line with the public demand for them.
“Today marks a new era for UK coinage,” commented Rebecca Morgan, Director of Collector Services at The Royal Mint.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for coin collectors to add to their collections, or start one for the first time. We anticipate a new generation of coin collectors emerging, with people keeping a close eye on their change to try and spot a new 50p that bears the portrait of our new King.
“The Royal Mint has been trusted to make coins bearing the Monarch’s effigy for over 1,100 years and we are proud to continue this tradition into the reign of King Charles III.”
Also speaking as the coins enter circulation today, Nick Read – Chief Executive Office of the Post Office – said: “It is a tremendous honour for the Post Office that the first coinage featuring King Charles III is being released into circulation via our extensive branch network.
“December is our busiest time of the year so the coin will be entering our network in a phased manner.
“If you don’t receive the new 50p in your change on your first visit to a Post Office, you may well get it in your change in a subsequent visit, so keep a look out for it.”
All approximately 27 billion UK coins with Queen Elizabeth II’s face on will remain legal tender and in active circulation, and will eventually be replaced over time as they become damaged or worn and to meet demand for new coins.