NQ64 receives £2.5m growth capital

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Future plans: NQ64 is looking to grow its portfolio across the country
Future plans: NQ64 is looking to grow its portfolio across the country

Related tags Multi-site pub operators Events Finance

Arcade bar operator NQ64 is looking to expand across the UK after receiving £2.5m from lender ThinCats.

The multi-site business was founded in 2019 and has grown from its original site in Manchester’s Northern Quarter to now featuring in a number of other major cities such as Liverpool and Cardiff.

The business, which is backed by specialist lifestyle and entertainment investor Imbiba, NQ64 has opened five new bars in the past 18 months.

Following the funding from ThinCats, it is eyeing venues in Aberdeen, Bath, Belfast, Brighton, Bristol, Leeds, Nottingham, Reading and Sheffield as well as further London sites following its Soho opening earlier this year​.

Country-wide expansion

Co-founder Andy Haygarth said: “We have a great team that has enabled us to open the first nine NQ64s in a relatively short time.

“We are really excited about the next phase of growth. With the backing of Imbiba and our new partnership with ThinCats, we are looking to forward to bringing our neon splattered drinking dens to a host of new guests.

“We generally now invest between £500,000 and £1m into the build of a new site.”

The criteria for its new sites includes a 4,000sq ft to 10,000sq ft footprint and the business can trade in ground, basement or first floor locations.

NQ64 operations director Clint Ghent said: “Following the positive customer feedback after our most recent openings in London and Glasgow, we’re excited to be expanding across the country, bringing the NQ64 experience to new cities throughout the year.”

Brand strategy

The company was advised by Montane Finance and FDD was conducted by Pierce & Co. Legal support was provided by Browne Jacobson and Hill Dickinson on the transaction.

Imbiba, which backs NW64, partner Andrew Stones added: “Andy and Matt have built a really interesting and unique concept and we are seeing plenty of great opportunities to expand their footprint throughout the UK. It’s great to be supporting such an awesome young business on this journey.”

ThinCats business development director Mike Dinnell said it was fantastic to be involved with a business like NQ64, which clearly has a strategy to grow its brand across the UK.

He added: “NQ64 is a bar where classic console games and great cocktails find perfect harmony across a range of age groups.

“The quality of the management team in place really underpins the growth plan we are supporting.”

The brand launched its first site in the north east​ earlier this summer (June) on Newcastle’s Pilgrim Street.

The property, which was NQ64’s ninth site, totalled 3,500sq ft with a capacity of 200 and offers a range of arcade games such as Pac-Man, Tekken and Guitar Hero alongside pinball machines, MegaDrive and PlayStation.

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