Updated: Sep 6, 2021
A few members of the Esports Scotland team were invited to the launch party for Edinburgh gaming bar NQ64 and had an absolute blast. We sat down with Alec Libby, our Operations Manager, and chatted to him about his highlights.
When and how did you first hear about NQ64?
"It wasn’t until we were invited to the launch party that I did a bit of research into NQ64; I see they have bars in Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham that all follow the same theme or neon-soaked arcades with gaming-themed drinks."
How was the vibe when you arrived?
"There was this awe-factor of seeing the vibrant, multicoloured neon glow as you walk in. To begin with, it was very chilled out and relaxed as my friend and I took a look at the drinks menu and asked the barmaid for whatever she recommended. This took a step up once the barmaid started to put on a show with regards to making the cocktails that even involved some pyrotechnics!"
How does it compare to other similar spaces?
"Previous gaming-related bars that I’ve been to haven’t had this level of ‘nightclub energy'. From the loud east coast hip hop, to the bass, and the staff vibe it was a lot, especially once the night progressed. Many other arcade bars that I’ve been to before have the usual drinks but just named something to do with old Nintendo references. This was definitely more focused on the arcade cabinets and the retro games."
What was your favourite game?
"Outrun, by far! 4 players side by side in racing seats is so much fun."
How were the drinks? Any you’d recommend?
"The variety was great. Being a rum fan, I tried all of those first with one of the more interesting ones being their “Donkey Kong” offering (involve bananas!). The others I tried included gins and vodkas; all were different enough to warrant trying and nice enough that I’d order again."
Was there anything about the bar that surprised you?
"The bar staff were well versed and absolutely on their A-game. As an ex-barman, I can always appreciate a barman/maid who puts the effort into making a customer feel special."
Would you recommend it to fellow gamers?
"Definitely the older crowd, 26+/Millennials. It plays a lot on the nostalgia aspect for the retro games/arcades and it’s not trying to introduce a new audience to that scene. Not sure the younger crowd would appreciate it as much though I’m sure they’ll appreciate the bar!"
Is this the kind of place you’d like to see more of in Scotland?
"If I did, I’d like to see the same vibrant/loud atmosphere, the nightclub/bar vibe, but move it towards modern gaming rather than arcades and retro games. Whilst I really enjoyed NQ64, I think it’s unique in its approach at the moment and opening another retro focused bar wouldn’t really work. Focusing on modern consoles/games however would be a nice approach."
Any final thoughts? "The staff were great, the vibe was great, the drinks were great. The consoles and cabinets worked and weren’t sticky! If it remains that way, then I believe NQ64 will become a regular haunt for a lot of Edinburgh locals and a solid choice for those visiting the city for a night out."
Have you had a chance to visit NQ64 yet? Let us know on our socials what you thought, and if you agree with Alec!
About the Author
Calum Rosie is a writer and editor, and the Writing Coordinator for Esports Scotland. He is world-renowned for his elite gaming skills, charm, handsomeness, is responsible for editing these bios, and is not above lying in them.