Pinball wizards and loaded sodas at arcade-game bar and diner Netherworld
Are you a pinball wizard? Have you got a supple wrist? Then you need to make your way to the top end of Brunswick Street, this ain’t no twist. There you’ll be transported back to yesteryear, finding not just pinball machines, but all of the classic arcade games and gaming consoles of your (and probably your parents’) childhood … along with some killer beats, eats and drinks. And trust us, you don’t have to be a pinball wizard to enjoy it.
When we announced the opening of Netherworld back in October, you all got pretty excited. Well, the wait is almost over friends. Start warming up your thumbs and flipper fingers – the bar, diner and arcade is opening its doors at midday this Saturday January 7. Netherworld is collaboration between actual pinball wizard James Angliss and The Scratch’s Benjamin Nichols and Kieran Ryan, and was inspired by the likes of Brooklyn’s Barcade and the U.S. gaming bar scene, with the guys wanting to create a similar vibe on home soil. The pub formerly occupied by such venues as the Step Inn and Underdog on the corner of Brunswick Street and St Paul’s Terrace in Fortitude Valley has undergone a serious makeover, with just the impressive heritage-listed bar remaining the same.
Netherworld is divided into three sections – the bar, the Hellmouth Diner and the arcade, however no matter where you are in the venue, you’ll find a game of some sort nearby to occupy your hands. After all, games are king here. Ben and James sat down to create their dream list of gaming machines and have managed to secure an impressive curated collection for your playing pleasure. Almost 40 vintage arcade and pinball machines from the 1970s through to now, classic consoles and 100 board games are scattered throughout the space, which you can play using tokens or a simple buck coin. Excited yet? We’re talking Ghostbusters, Flash Gordon and Trident pinball machines, arcade games like NBA Jam (silent squeal!), Double Dragon, Frogger and Daytona Rally, and classic consoles such as Super Nintendo, Atari and Sega Mega Drive played on equally classic televisions. The bar boasts 14 craft and not-so-craft beers and two ciders on tap, as well as wine, spirits, cocktails and house-made pineapple and grapefruit sodas. You might want to opt for those sodas loaded with a little alcohol too – after all, games are hefty work. Hellmouth Diner serves up classic diner-style eats with influences from America, Mexico, Japan and Korea, such as burgers, burritos, bowls, hot dogs and snacks. But this isn’t sloppy diner food – the menu showcases ethically sourced ingredients and is ultra, ultra friendly to vegan and gluten-intolerant diners.
Netherworld opens to the public this Saturday January 7 at midday. Visitors on opening day will receive a limited-edition Netherworld pin on arrival, plus a couple of free tokens to test out their gaming skills. For full contact details and opening hours, head to our Stumble Guide.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.