Brisbane, it’s time to let your geek flag fly. A new bar is set to open in the Valley, and we’re not playing when we say it’s got serious game. Inspired by the gaming bars in the US, Netherworld will be home to more than 15 vintage pinball machines, 25 arcade games, classic video game consoles, and a huge range of board games from the 1970s to now.
If you can keep your flipper fingers and tapping thumbs off the games for 20 minutes, the menu is also set to be next-level. Think all your diner favourites, but with plenty of options available for “alternative” eaters. That’s right – finally a place with more than just sad lettuce for your vegan and gluten-intolerant mates! Plus all the craft beer you can drink! It’s like a little 8-bit of heaven, right here on earth.
There’s still no word on whether Netherworld will feature Tapper – but we’re all crossing our fingers and lining up our coins, just in case.
We sat down for a beer with Ben Nichols, the gamer genius behind this barcade, to find out more.
Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you came to start up Netherworld?
I’ve been a co-owner of a small beer bar in Milton called The Scratch for the last five years. I’m a big pop culture dork and have always loved all kinds of gaming. A couple of years back during a trip to the US, I had a hell of a time in some of their barcades – classic gaming and good beer! After discovering I wasn’t the only person in Brisbane determined to see something like that here, we teamed up with Jimmy Nails, a fellow beer nut and pinball wizard.
You’re set to have 15 pinball machines, 25 arcade machines, classic consoles, and board game. Can you give us a bit of a hint at what some of the games will be?
We sat down and wrote a list of all the games we wanted to see in the venue. We’ve almost tracked down all of them! Expect a good mix of games from different eras, but we’ve got a lot of the classics covered. You’ll see games ranging from Donkey Kong to Addams Family Pinball to Street Fighter 2 to NBA Jam Tournament Edition.
You’re also going to have a selection of beers and food on offer. Can you tell us a bit more about the menu?
Hell yes we are! Naturally, being from the local beer industry, we’ll have a focus on local breweries and plenty of it! We’ll also have a great selection of cider, cocktails, wine, spirits and non-alcoholic drinks. The kitchen will be our own twist on a fun, pub/diner menu whilst being very, very inclusive for alternative eating crowds.
What’s your all-time favourite arcade game?
Point Blank. I’ll challenge anyone! There’s rules, though – you get one coin and one coin only. If you lose all your lives, you have to start again.
What’s the perfect snack to have while you’re deep in the game zone?
A pint of Newstead Brewing Two to the Valley IPA.
Why do you think classic games have had such a big resurgence lately?
Gaming is always on our minds and it’s great to see it become more mainstream. Getting together and playing a game is a damn good excuse to be social and do something fun with your mates. My ideal night is a beer, a game and my pals. So we’re building a hub just for that.
Where do you like to go for a great meal in Brissy?
Brewski on Caxton St! Always and forever.