Peter Street has built a reputation for itself as a major nightlife hub. While people still often jump to thoughts of the Northern Quarter when considering nocturnal options in Manchester, anyone who has walked from Deansgate to St Peter’s Square after dark will have picked up on just how busy this corner of town now is. Clubs, restaurants, huge party bars and more line the kerbside, and nestled in and among all this we find the street level entrance to subterranean gaming den NQ64 — a basement world of unusual cocktails, coin-op machines and banging tunes.
Just like its counterpart over in the aforementioned Northern Quarter, NQ64 Peter Street is a retro-themed paradise for anyone who has ever dedicated months and years to mastering Dhalsim’s legendary, and rarely executed, 29-hit combo. The titles available to play span pretty much every genre imaginable, from big hitting beat ‘em ups to first person shooters, top-down action and high octane racing, with a strong console representation alongside the traditional arcade machines. Mirroring their glow, the decor is wild, neon-hued psychedelia, creating the sense of having stepped into another world from the reality back outside.
Intent on making sure you want to stay, the bar is very much part of the experience. NQ64 offers a strong selection of beers and specialist spirits, but it’s unarguably the cocktails that stand out most. Power Star Martini, Quick Revive No.5, Dr. Ro Bev Nik, and Hits From The Pong betray the sense of fun (and humour) that this place seems to radiate, while the soundtrack — with guest DJs invited down to spin class hip hop — ensures things stay bouncing well into the early hours. Booths are available for semi-private parties, and you can also punt for whole-of-venue hire if you really want run of the machines.