London has been waiting for a great social gaming space for a while now and Loading Bar’s tentative gaming cafe at Soho’s MADD juice bar may be what we’ve been hoping for.
Whilst it’s not clear whether it currently exists from a quick Google search we tracked it down to 53 Rupert Street in Soho – clearly signposted with a great mural on the window even though there’s not yet any ‘Loading Bar/Cafe’ branding at the moment.
You can order one of a plethora of game world themed cocktails or shooters, Kicked to the Kirby and Earthworm Gin to name but two and head down into the cosy gaming area at the back.
The seating area is a small but comfortable space and home to a coffee-table top arcade machine, SNES, Xbox 360 Elite and Wii U (there wasn’t a PS3 on display, but there may be one).
It was a great place to enjoy a classic Mario Kart battle and Street FIghter II Turbo match-up. Loading Soho has also been a venue for gaming nights and industry socials in the past few weeks and will hopefully continue to grow.
Whilst it’s currently got a ‘pop-up’ feel (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing) it’ll be great when it’s a bit busier and becomes a destination for video game fans.
It’s currently running on “no budget” and has been a labour of love for owner James Dance, who took three years to open its first location in Falmouth, Cornwall.
Dance took to Indiegogo to fund a London space but only raised $15,000 of its $50,000 target.
We can only hope that people go down and support this great little space in the heart of the London video games industry so it can realise it’s dream of becoming the gaming location in London and maybe expand to a bigger venue.