The Four Quarters launches in Peckham
“A great bar first, a great arcade second”: that was the message we were greeted with as we entered The Four Quarters, a new games bar launching in Peckham. As mission statements go it’s an interesting one, but in all honesty it’s a little odd. The bar’s founders, Tom Humphrey and Joe Dowling, have such a serious passion for retro gaming that they own a store dedicated to the timeless classics. They’re not seasoned drinks industry experts, and creating a truly great bar in a market as saturated as London is immensely difficult. Few get it right the first time.
With its stripped walls, bare floors and eclectic furniture, The Four Quarters isn’t treading new ground. Its style is firmly entrenched in the 20-something scene that dominates the trendy spots of South and East London. A quick sampling of the spirits reveals a solid gin and tonic, and there’s a decent variety of spirits on offer. Craft beers are a nice touch, but they’re in pretty much every independent these days. This is a well put together effort, but there’s little to really distinguish from the countless others that have spread like wildfire across the city. As a bar, it’s simply good.
In our opinion though, anyone focusing solely (or even primarily) on that aspect of The Four Quarters is surely missing the point. The bar doesn’t need to dazzle: it’s the arcade aspect that will draw in customers, and in that area there’s nothing but success. A great selection of 80s machines, with a smattering of 90s classics, line the left hand side of the bar. Pacman, Defender, Bomberman and Street Fighter II have all aged well, and the multi-player nature of the latter two is perfect for a bar environment. The selection is good but the real star is the price. Too many arcade machines exist only to gouge the inebriated, but here the sensible prices show that their primary purpose is to light up the room with joy and earnest laughter.
There’s something deeply satisfying about peering into a gaming cabinet again and feeling your hand clutch a proper joystick. For many modern gamers, used to handheld controllers and analog sticks, it will be a different world. In fact, the whole experience is something of a throwback. In an era where life is becoming something that is increasingly enjoyed online, it’s easy to forget how enjoyable it can be to play games in the physical presence of others. There are few things in the world that beat getting a few friends together, drinking good beer and going on a co-op run through Metal Slug. The Four Quarters is determined to remind us of that fact, and the result is a bar full of good, old-fashioned fun.
To book a table at The Four Quarters 187 Rye Lane Peckham, SE15 4TP, call 020 3489 6146 or visit here.