Newcastle NQ64: Unlocking childhood memories with delicious cocktails

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I visited the retro arcade bar, and it is now my new favourite place.

I visited Newcastle’s NQ64 yesterday evening (Monday, November 6) along with my boyfriend, James, to try out their brand-new cocktails and play some awesome games!

First of all, I must give the retro arcade bar praise for how it is decorated. The venue is dimly lit, but the walls are decorated with neon ‘intergalactic’ paintings, which makes you feel as if you’ve entered a completely different world, rather than just popped into a bar off a Newcastle street.

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The tables are decorated with authentic graffiti, which helps to give the vibes of a hang-out spot, as do the stickers on and behind the bar. It is decorated the exact way you might find your mate’s hang-out den to be, with the stickers, graffiti and gaming memorabilia throughout the venue.

The decoration and vibes of the bar made the place feel like an incredible place to be, without trying too hard to be unique.

The atmosphere of the bar, along with the friendly bar staff, made me feel instantly at home and as if I could spend hours in there - which I did.

Before we got to gaming, we made sure to check out their brand-new cocktail menu which includes; Full Tilt which is tequila-based with grapefruit, pineapple and sherbet, Lara’s Lost which is Absolut Vanilla, blackberry, raspberry shrub and prosecco, Paperboi with Jack Daniel’s, blueberry pancake and lemon Fanta, Cowabunga which is a Beefeater gin-based, and Amy’s Delight which is a vodka-based strawberry milkshake.

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NQ64 caters to all, as most of their cocktails are either vegan or vegetarian. They also have two mocktails No Uka UKa, which is made up of Caleno 0%, guava, pineapple and refresher syrup and their brand-new addition Hits from the Pong which is CBD infused with raspberry, guava, kiwi and lime.

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I decided to try two cocktails from the brand-new menu and two from the original menu, Amy’s Delight, Lara’s Lost, Power Star Martini and Kirby.

Each cocktail was completely different but all were absolutely delicious. But my favourite aspect of the cocktails was how they were decorated. As a superfan of all things Super Mario, I loved the addition of a super star printed on top of the Power Star Martini, and gleefully exclaimed: “Oh my god it lights up!”, when presented with the colourful Kirby cocktail.

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Given that James doesn’t drink alcohol, it was great that NQ64 had the exciting mocktails for him to try, as well as a wide selection of soft drinks. He said he enjoyed both cocktails, but the Hits from the Pong mocktail was his favourite.

We then got to exploring the games NQ64 has to offer, and were super impressed by the varied selection.

Myself and James both love gaming. While he is an Xbox guy, I am more of a Nintendo Switch girl. However, we both have favourites from childhood, which we were over the moon to find in NQ64.

We love to compete against each other or play cooperatively, so the games we played included the racing game Outrun, before heading downstairs to uncover even more arcade games, where we played the shooting game Time Crisis II, and fought each other on Mortal Kombat II. James also had a game of Crazy Taxi.

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But the most exciting games at NQ64 for us were Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero.

It was so exciting to play Dance Revolution again, a game I spent hours and hours playing as a child. I flicked through the selection of songs, and found Dynamite Rave, and somehow remembered the moves.

James was ecstatic to find Guitar Hero, and we played a few songs together.

When we first arrived, I dismissed the consoles they had (which includes; Playstation 2, Xbox, GameCube and more) and gravitated towards the arcade games, however towards the end of our evening, we decided to give them a go and I now think they are the best part of NQ64.

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They are free to use, whereas everything else takes tokens which can be bought from the bar, and they have a wide selection of games to play.

Once I realised this, I was on the hunt for specific games I played with my siblings as a child, and couldn’t believe my luck when I found them.

We played Dragon Ball Z, Simpsons Hit and Run, SSX Tricky, and WWE: Just Bring It (my favourite by a mile), on the Playstation 2, and on the Xbox we played Tony Hawk, FIFA 2004 and Timesplitters.

Newcastle NQ64Newcastle NQ64
Newcastle NQ64 | Holly Allton

Overall, I had the most amazing time, unlocking childhood memories, drinking delicious cocktails and generally having great fun.

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James, who is not a fan of bars at all, felt exactly the same, and finally felt he found a place he could enjoy on a night out.

Everything is reasonably priced, with cocktails around the £10 mark, and mocktails around £5. 15 tokens can be purchased for £8, with the opportunity to double them for an extra £4, and they go quite far.

We will certainly be returning to NQ64.

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