Peckham isn’t an area that I usually frequent. The area is mostly known for being the location of the classic 80’s show, Only Fools And Horses. And it’s still the same, due to the overwhelming smell of the fish markets whilst some man is trying to get the best price for his wooden spoons. Despite this, Peckham has started to become more popular, and new bar plus ex-meat store, The Four Quarters, is in on the action.
Not only is the bar part of the latest nightlife wave, but it’s inspired by the latest American trend, arcade bars. The owners decided to bring this retro gaming style of drinking to the UK, being the first of its kind to hit the island.
Inside, several gaming machines lined the wall, paving the way to the bar. Sadly, the bar was slightly small, but it contained all the bare essentials; Camden Hells on tap, wine, a few spirits and craft ale. Larger was served in German sized jug with the option of a “lady glass” instead. There was an unusual mixer on the menu called Baba juice. I wasn’t inclined to try it until the bar staff encouraged me to take a glass of their home-made lemonade which was also made from Baba fruit. It had a slight gingery taste which blended well with the bitter lemon tang. It would have been even better with a few shots of rum to give it that extra punch.
With a drink in hand, I realised that the only difficulty I faced in this bar was to play a game whilst clasping my wine glass (and I could never let that go). I almost smashed the glass by trying to balance it on a game of Street Fighter. I’d like to say that was what damaged my game-play but it made me remember how badly I used to play on the Atari with my brothers.
The arcade games were old and retiring looking, like they’d been left in a Zombie apocalypse, untouched. They worked fantastically well for machines that were decades old. All the old classics were huddled together like an 80s school reunion with Pacman, Tron & Space Invaders. The likes of which I’ve only seen separately in some collector’s personal space like an abandoned baby.
Someone kindly showed me the upstairs area which hadn’t quite been finished, but you could see what the owners had in mind. It will become a screening area that will host a number of 90s and 80s classic movies. There was a games console in the corner with a few bean bags littered around. It would be the perfect man cave, but I could imagine mixing this den with alcohol could encourage a bit of how’s-your-father. Also, the bar is situated near the popular Rooftop Cinema, a bit of healthy competition, although the two would have completely different atmospheres.
The place was reminiscent of a school wet day common room. Especially the plastic chairs that looked exactly like the pesky ones I would often fall off in my class. This made everything comfortably familiar and enticed me to stay for a longer time than I usually would. The place had already proved quite popular and passers-by would often stop to get a glimpse of the retro happenings.
The Four Quarters would be the perfect place for a hang out with friends or to start off a night because once you have a few shots, Pacman becomes nothing more than just a noisey yellow blob.