Step right up, folks — the circus has come to town. Though it's not the kind with animals and screaming kids, but rather an extravagant circus-themed arcade bar set to boggle all the senses.
Set inside a vibrant, sprawling space at The District Docklands, Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq is the latest venture from the Funlab crew (Holey Moley, Strike Bowling Bars) and sibling to the Sydney venue of the same name. And yes, it's got that same fast, fun, kid-like energy that'll have you abandoning all adult sensibilities right at the front door's red velvet drapes.
Prepare for a serious sensory overload as you cruise this room, between the buttery scents from the old-school popcorn stations, the tunes emanating from the DJ booth and the hyped-up sounds of 67 different arcade games. Here, you'll find everything from dodgem cars, Mario Kart and VR experiences, to six bowling lanes and Jurassic Park shoot-out games. Try your luck nabbing a prize on one of the many claw machines, or venture behind a mysterious curtain to zap zombies and blow your mind in Thrill Ride's interactive XD motion theatre.
All that gaming is sure to prove thirsty work, but Archie's bar offering holds its own, with a slew of spiked shakes and cocktails as OTT as their surrounds. Your skills on the beer pong machine can only improve after sipping one of the bubble gum-infused Circus Sours, or the Shark Tanq — a blend of gin, Red Bull, blue liqueur, coconut and orange bitters that's topped with gummy shark lollies.
Meanwhile, food is American-diner-meets-theme-park, with a playful circus twist. Camp out in one of the curved booths to devour bites like the Firebreather Hotdog — loaded with beef chilli and spicy mayo — the Bullfighter Burger, rocking a beef patty, pulled pork and bacon, or the flashback-inducing potato gems, topped with cheese dust and caramelised garlic aioli. Add on a nifty condiment-filled syringe to step up the Insta-worthy factor, before heading back out to that bumper car arena.
Images: Jacob Conner/Good Gravy Media and Eugene Hyland (food).