It’s out with the pokies and in with the pinballs at the Valley’s newest venue, Netherworld.
Competitive pinballer James Angliss, and Ben Nichols and Kieran Ryan of The Scratch, will transform the old Step Inn into a bar dedicated to arcade-style gaming.
Netherworld is inspired by Angliss and Nichols’ arcade bar experiences in New York and their desire to create a space that shares their passion for gaming. They also hope the venue will offer a more balanced approach to drinking.
“We’ve got a strange history with alcohol in Queensland,” says Nichols. “I think bringing a few fun things to the mix should really help steer the culture into a more healthy relationship with alcohol.”
“I hope we can bring people in to the Valley that might not necessarily have been here for a long time,” adds Angliss.
Netherworld will be home to 25 arcade machines, 15 pinball machines, as well as consoles and a selection of vintage board games. Venue highlights will include a machine from iconic former CBD arcade hangout Las Vegas, as well as a couple of penny arcade machines that once stood on the Redcliffe Pier.
For Angliss and Nichols, scouring garage sales, and online auction sites for the machines and collectables has been one of the most enjoyable aspects of the venture.
“What we’ve tried to do is curate a list of machines that isn’t just a nostalgia whack, but something that has an appreciation of gaming history,” says Nichols. “We want the venue to be a conversation with the gaming community, and let it evolve over time.”
Players will be able to snack on a diner-style menu courtesy of Bryn Griffith (ex At Sixes and Sevens). Referencing The Scratch’s selection, Netherworld’s 16 beer taps will host an Australian-heavy range of brews, with a focus on the rapidly expanding Brisbane craft scene. Cocktails, wines and spirits will also be available.
Netherworld is set to open in late December or early January.