Our Beer Man’s Verdict
One of my all-time favourite bars is Barcade in Brooklyn. It’s a simple formula – a big industrial space lined with vintage video games, serving great beer – but a winning one, and has grown into a chain in the US.
It’s a terrific idea and I’ve always been surprised no-one has tried to replicate it over here.
Until now. Well, sort of. Super Bario has just opened in Glasgow, offering a vaguely similar format – albeit differing significantly where it matters.
I checked it out on a recent Friday evening. It’s located on King Street in Glasgow’s Merchant City, and seems to be occupying a former café or shop unit.
And that’s the first problem. The venue is probably fine on a quiet afternoon, but feels small and uncomfortably crowded when it’s busy.
There are a few vintage arcade games round the walls at one end – but they are either in use, not working or difficult to get near as it’s too busy.
What about the beer, then? The draught selection is small and uninspiring – Drygate pils is the pick of the bunch – so I peruse the bottle list, which is strong if unfocused.
I have a bottle of the Brooklyn chocolate stout (£6.50) which is, as always, sumptuously delicious: rich with a gentle boozy finish.
I luxuriate in that for a bit while managing to have a quick shot – most of the games are free play – on a game I vaguely remember from my childhood.
I know I’m clearly not the demographic here – although I love beer and like video games – but I should enjoy Super Bario. I just end up feeling old and slightly depressed.
When I want a good beer in Glasgow, I’ll undoubtedly go somewhere else – there are some great options nearby like Blackfriars or Drygate – but I suspect, given the crowds on my visit, they won’t particularly miss my custom…
Address: 7 King Street, Glasgow G1