For some reason they always win the state of origin
It’s the home of Australia’s coolest theme parks
It’s where the Great Barrier Reef is
It’s the only place you’re going to find Yahtzee Croshaw’s Mana Bar.
It also recently got devastated by floods and an epic cyclone, which some NSW residents believe is pay back for whooping our ass at Origin every year. But mostly it’s just tragic and my heart goes out to all affected. (I can’t call myself an Aussie and talk about QLD without mentioning the tragedy that has befallen this lovely state. I just can’t)
Patriotism and devastation aside though, this article is about the wonderful Mana Bar. Yes I know I’ve already reviewed it for Kotaku (which you can find here) but I wrote that almost immediately after I got back. And it’s only recently that I’ve found myself realising just how awesome The Mana Bar truly is, so I thought I’d do another write up on it, this time one where my opinion isn’t restricted by the 500 word limit.
Prior to my Queensland trip I was kind of boring. I spent the majority of my time playing games or working, forever favouring a quiet night in instead of a wild night out. Since I got home however, I have become a whole new person. I cut off all my hair, dyed it purple, got my tattoo done and haven’t spent a Saturday night at home since (because it’s all aesthetics that define a person, right?) But since I’ve been spending all my nights out I’ve found myself really wishing I could transport myself back to The Mana Bar, because that is my perfect idea of fun.
The Mana Bar combined alcohol with video games in a perfect social surrounding. To be honest I expected to walk in there and get jumped by a bunch of neckbeards but to my surprise everybody there was perfectly friendly and lovely and not the slightest bit creepy. There were couples, there were singles, there were men and women, and there were two hilarious drunk girls that stumbled around the bar going “Oh my god, it’s that guy from those video games! And oh my GOD, THERE ARE THOSE VIDEO GAMES? Can I play these? For real? OHMYGOD!”. They were definitely a fantastic part of my night. However, they didn’t wash their hands after leaving the bathroom and that just plain creeped me out. Bad drunk girls, bad bad drunk girls.
In Sydney we have x-box lounges, pubs and trivia nights. Why nobody in this city has thought to combine them all together is entirely beyond me. I suppose we come close with the inclusion of pokies, but just because they’re made by Konami doesn’t mean they classify as a video game. It really doesn’t.
The Mana Bar was a place I felt comfortable. Comfortable enough that I could drink and not care that I’d eventually start looking like a fool as I played the Wii. It was a place where I could spend hours in the bathroom staring at Duke Nukem and not be thought of as weird. It was a place where I could play Tetris against people who are actually good at that game and not feel like a tool when I lost. But more than that, The Mana Bar is just really frickin’ awesome and fun, and whether you like games or not, you won’t leave there without a smile on your face.
My first impression of the bar was that it was kind of small, but after I wrote my Kotaku article it was brought to my attention that I had chosen one of their Chiptunes nights (which was fairly interesting in itself), meaning that the giant DJ table in the middle of the bar took up a lot of room. I have been assured that this isn’t always there, meaning that they can easily fit upwards of 50 people into the bar on a busy night.
This is good, because the bar is amazing, and really, more than 20 people should be able to enjoy it at a time.
Final Thoughts (because I know my readers have short attention spans)
- The Mana Bar is a fun, social, friendly place
- Game choice is changed often, keeping things fresh, new and exciting
- There is so much cool stuff written/drawn in the bathroom stalls you’ll be there for hours
- They have awesome cocktail names, which, to me, is enough reason to spend eternity there
- If, for some reason, you don’t feel like playing games, they also have trivia night (but you probably wanna get yourself looked at first)
- It’s a bar
- That has video games
- WHY AREN’T YOU THERE YET?
The Mana Bar can be found in Brisbane, but I’m not going to tell you where because I’m a writer. Not google maps.