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3, 2, 1... Game!

When you think of a traditional English seaside holiday you probably think of rain, fish ‘n’ chips in the back of your Dad’s car, and arcades stretched along the seafront. Well, over the past month, we’ve definitely had enough of the rain… But what you might not have done a lot of is indulge your passion for gaming.

Arcade games are no longer the preserve of the faded English seaside resort. A bunch of east Londoners have reinvented them, and made them cool. There’s nothing like being two drinks into your night and challenging your mates to a cheeky game of Space Invaders. Even if you know you’re gonna lose.

Fancy a game of Asteroids with your Saturday night pint? Read on.


1. Four Quarters, Peckham

If you thought arcade games were just for nerds, think again. Four Quarters in Peckham are taking over the capital – they also have a branch in Hackney and another opening in Elephant and Castle very soon! They do a roaring trade in the retro classics – Asteroids, Space Invaders, the Star Wars trilogy, to name a few! They also have a well-stocked bar, with a selection of craft beer from dozens of independent microbreweries all over London, and a whole bunch of well-priced cocktails, spirits, and mixers. The only problem we foresee is that you’ll never want to leave again.

Click here to find out more.


2. Simmons, Islington

Simmons have an outpost in every neighbourhood in London. Seriously, we’re not even kidding. I have spent many a time taking full advantage of their 2-for-1 Long Island Iced Teas, and I’m not ashamed of it. However, it’s good to know that they have more tricks up their sleeve. Simmons has also cornered the market in olde-worlde arcade gaming, with a Sega Mega Drive playing everything from Tetris to Sonic the Hedgehog to Lemmings. They also have a beer pong table - what more could you possibly want?!

Click here to check it out.


3. Loading, Stoke Newington

Relocating from Soho to good-ole’ Stokey, Loading is a much-loved bar that has many much-loved retro consoles at its disposal. Modelled on the gaming cafés of Tokyo, this place is truly one for the hardcore gaming fans. A place where young and old can come and nerd-out playing Street Fighter II and sipping on an ice-cold bevvie. Also, all their cocktails are based on classic games – where else can you get a Pokémon Go with added raspberries?? They also have branches in Brighton and Dalston.

Book a ‘slot’ here.


4. Two Bit, Shoreditch

Two Bit is a relatively new edition to the arcade bar scene. This small basement bar in Brew Dog’s Shoreditch outpost is a sanctuary for Americana enthusiasts, with a plethora of obscure US craft beers on tap for the beer nerds, and a menagerie of vintage pinball and arcade machines. We love Brew Dog’s meteoric rise from microbrewers to bartenders, so we will definitely be checking this one out ASAP, and we think you should too.

Find out more by following this link.


5. The Old School Yard, Southwark

Taking you back to the 90s, The Old School Yard in Southwark is a colourful take on a classic concept. With a Foosball table, Nintendo 64s, and old boomboxes and bicycle adorning the walls, this place is perfect for whatever you’re celebrating, whether it be your mates’ birthday, your own wedding, or simply just the end of lockdown. Much more than just a gamers’ haven, this place also offers karaoke and cocktails, so there’s something for everybody at this London Bridge bar.

Check it out here.



Words by Rebecca Clayton