The high street video rental shop is reborn as one of the NQ’s newest bars

Set to launch on Friday 27 May, Blockbusters NQ is a two-floor bar with a hidden “naughty films” section, beef burger popcorn, and all those nostalgic feels from the good old days of VHS. 

Owned by the folk behind Manchester’s only South African kitchen Chakalaka, the bar has got us in the mood for cocktails, cult films and a stereo blasting classic film tunes. Think tipples and the Top Gun soundtrack. 

Blockbusters Nq Bar
Not a hanging planter in sight Image: Blockbusters NQ

Not your average brick walls and fairy lights affair

When we think of a new Northern Quarter opening its all hanging lights, industrial features and enough greenery to create your own micro-climate. Wrong. Blockbusters NQ has got walls covered in video cassettes and vintage TV’s playing cult films on loop.

The vibes in the bar downstairs boast an Art Deco/cinema aesthetic with black walls, velvet seats and a stage set for various performances. The venue is also split between two floors, so the main area upstairs has a secret “naughty films” section and is designed to look like a proper Blockbusters store. 

Blockbusters Nq Cocktail Selection
Things might not be so PG after a few of these Image: Blockbusters NQ

A stream of booze

Although the final branch of Blockbusters video store closed 8 years ago due to the rise of streamed content, the only thing that’s streaming in this NQ spot is fun booze.

Cocktails at Blockbusters NQ are set to include the PG&T, a gin and tonic with a pomegranate twist, a VHS’presso martini and an Alco-popcorn cocktail. Because no trip to the cinema is complete without popcorn, there are also snacks with unusual flavours like roast chicken and beef burger. Make sure you've got some chewing gum. 

Blockbusters Nq Popcorn
There's no time limit on the vibes at Blockbusters Image: Blockbusters NQ

The returns policy

We all know the drill, when you borrow something from Blockbuster you’ve got to take it back before your 30 days are up. However, owner Stewart Dean assures us that “the only returns here are for another hit of fun and nostalgia”. Bonus. 

Talking about his intentions for this quirky new opening, Stewart says “I truly wanted to make somewhere special that people get excited by. I was a huge fan of video stores and my favourite bars are those that immerse you in a secret or provide a bit of an escape. I thought what better homage to an iconic part of our history than to create a parody of Blockbuster”. 

Blockbusters Nq Pgt
One final sipper Image: Blockbusters NQ

Where though?

The new Blockbusters NQ bar sits just between District and Fress on Oldham Street, so right in the hub of all those NQ bar crawl spots. 

It opens on Friday 27 May and both video buffs and cocktail suppers alike can keep up with Blockbusters on Instagram and Facebook for all the final details. 

Blockbusters NQ, 60 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

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