Clapham, London, UK is the home to the best gaming pub in the world. It’s official. At least, it’s the best one I’ve been to. I’ve been to ‘barcades’ before, and they’re great, but this place is more than that. I’m talking about the Four Thieves pub in Clapham.

First of all, the pub is great anyway. Downstairs has an impressive micro-brewery, lots of seating space, a bar made from an old boat and a quirky Gin Yard. The whole place oozes character and quirkiness. Venture upstairs, however, and you find a whole world of entertainment. My friend, Sam and I, were the first ones upstairs that evening, when it opened at 7pm, and to have it all to ourselves for the first 10mins was amazing. It got extremely busy after about 8pm so I’m glad we got to experience it in the calmness ourselves initially.

The first thing you are hit with when you walk in is a huge projector screen (bigger than most) which has a MAME menu screen on it. I’ve got a MAME cabinet of my own at home, but having it this big on a massive screen still hugely excited me. The control panel is on the other side of the room on a pedestal. Great fun.




On the right there is a glow in the dark neon mini golf course which looked pretty cool, although we didn’t get round to playing it.


And the major thing you see across towards the bar is a huge 10 seater RC race car track. This thing is incredible. You sit up on a ledge in a bucket seat with adjustable wheel and pedals and ten of you can race for 20 laps with a dude giving live commentary for the whole race. The American guy we had commentating that night was fantastic. It started off just myself and Sam playing on our own and yet he still put his heart and soul into the commentary. Later on pretty much every game was full with 10 racers and it was actually a great spectator sport too. You can also take a photo of yourself on the racing winner’s podium wearing a wreath that’s hanging from the ceiling, as you can see me doing below.









As well as these larger game areas there are lots of other smaller games too. One thing that stood out to me was a very cool Ice Hockey version of foosball. This was huge and although quite hard to control it was great fun. What’s more, it electronically calculated your score, which is always handy after a few shandies.


Here’s a summary of all the games I can remember in the pub…

  • Giant MAME arcade game projector screen
  • Glow in the dark neon mini golf
  • 10 seater RC race car track
  • 2 x table tennis tables
  • Table Ice Hockey game
  • Table football game
  • 2 x pinball games (Spider-Man and Vegas)
  • Sega Rally arcade
  • Point Blank arcade
  • Time Crisis arcade game
  • Hunting arcade game
  • Another arcade game I can’t even remember



The whole place just has a really cool vibe though. Things are never as good when someone hypes them up, so if you do go, just pretend I said it was crap. Go in with an open mind. We had no idea what to expect and we thought it was fantastic. The also have an ‘escape room’ form of experience as well but we didn’t explore that when we were there.

Just the fact that they chose to make their upstairs space into a games room is great in itself, but to go and do something we’ve never seen before, in the form of the RC car race track, is a stroke of genius. And the mahoosive MAME screen is just the icing on the cake. Well done Four Thieves.