A journey to the Netherworld evokes a feeling of transgression, and crossing over into a underworld carnival. A cursory internet search show the concept of a Hellmouth emerged from European myth coming into contact with early Christian faith, and has charged into pop-culture namely through Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but also in the name of a hardcore punk band.
Brisbane’s new arcade bar and diner Netherworld touches just a little on this history, certainly creating a thrilling space with darker artwork, but the new establishment comes from a place of passion and thoughtfulness. A love of gaming, community, and creativity is alive in this space..
There are collections of pinball machines around the wide and welcoming bar entrance. One or two arcade cabinets wait here, but they’re just representatives from a much larger arcade space two rooms away from the bar. Moving past the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cabinet on the edge of the bar space, and into the centre of Netherworld is the Hellmouth diner, from which you can see the electric, stimulant arcade room. If the Hellmouth diner is the heart of Netherworld, the Pinball Bar and Arcade room are the left and right brain. Logic and coordination, creativity and passion run through this place.
I enjoyed being here on the opening night. The heart and thought really shines through. I enjoyed seeing the mural depicting a legion of eldritch creatures that could have walked out of a Lovecraft short story. It’s another key detail, showing the thought that has gone into this space. The bar selection was also excellent, and I ‘m looking forward to trying out the menu when I return.