First Drinks: 8-Bit
Take this. It will help you on your quest. Here's a look in and around that new retro games cafe and bar in Gulou -- 8-Bit. Game ON.
There's this new little bar in Gulou kicking up a bit of a buzz because it serves alcoholic alcohol with alcohol in it and it also has a a bunch of Nintendos set up that you can play.
Goddamn, it's about time someone thought of that, right? Nintendo plus booze. That's pretty right-on. It's called 8-Bit and it's billing itself as a "Retro Game Bar Cafe".
It looks like this.
It's basically a one-roomer, with a bit of lounge seating at the front, a playing area set up with a couple of No-friend-o consoles, and a small bar at the back. Pretty clean and simple. It opened just last Saturday to a warm and nerdly reception, and the MGMT is in the process now of finalizing their weekly events, their rotating selection of games and consoles, and the drinks menu. But you can go right now and check it out if you like. They're open seven days a week from 1pm to 2am.
So, for games: Currently, 8-Bit offers an original gangsta NES, a SNES, and a Sega Genesis set up for free play for guests, with games between the three hitting on all the classics: Mario, Sonic, Tetris, Street Fighter 2, Killer Instinct, F-Zero, Streets of Rage, Starwing, Super Bomberman, Primal Rage, Mario Kart, Metroid, Mega Man, Mortal Kombat, NBA Jam, NBA JAM, AND NBA JAM!!!!
B'OH SHIT! Remember NBA Jam!
So, basically, right now, the main emphasis is on '80s and '90s consoles -- Sega and Nintendo -- but they're also looking to rewind the clock a bit in the coming weeks with an Atari, as well as jump ahead to the next level a bit with an N64. So, lots of games, yes, but don't go in expecting a full-on arcade though. It's more like going to your spoiled school friend's house circa 1993 and raiding their dad's liquor cabinet while you're at it.
You know that friend. We all know that friend.
For drinks: Menu is still being tweaked a bit but it basically follows the Gulou bar standard deal of having a fairly decent selection of bottles -- Maredous, Brooklyn, Rouge, Dead Guy, Duvel, Corona, Tiger (15rmb-40rmb) -- along with the standard mixes for 35rmb, cocktails for 40rmb, and shots for 20rmb. On draught is Kirin, Vedette, and Le Chouf.
Standouts for booze, though, is 8-Bit's vodka infusions, which is what's pictured above. That's Skittles-infused vodka, available by the shot. From left to right: the Pac Man, the Mario, and the Yoshi. Skittles-infused vodka. They're pretty zippy. Worth a taste, for sure. They've also got a chilli-infused vodka, which is no joke. They've also got some imported snacks and things as well -- jerky and crisps!
And there you have it. 8-Bit -- "retro" games and drinks on Jiaodaokou. Nice, little lounge hang-out. It's a fun and relaxed sort of vibe. The co-owner, a guy from the UK, is also your bartender, and is also your guy controlling the (rock music) playlist, and is also your guy who switches out the games for you if you want to play something else. Again, yeah, it's not really a hardcore arcade sort of thing -- more like a laid-back, nice drinks lounge, with a couple of games set up and people having a laugh, remembering old Nintendo games from their youth. If you go, don't be the SUPER SERIOUS GAMER guy hogging the shit and bumming everyone out. Don't be that guy. You may think you're winning but you're not, my friend, trust me on this!
Here's what they've got on for weekly specials. We'll get all this stuff listed on SmBj but if you want to have a look at it at a glance, here it is. One more thing: on Saturday night, 8-Bit is hosting a 32-slot Street Fighter II tournament. Grand prize for that is a Gameboy, so that's pretty neat-o. If you want in on that, show up at 10pm sharp.
8-Bit is at 49 Jiaodaokou Nan Dajie, about a five minute walk south of the Jiaodaokou and Gulou Dong Dajie intersection, on your right. It's like three doors down from that new record store, Mono. It's open seven days a week from 1pm to around 2am.