Cafe Voltaire is the bar above the more well known Cabaret Voltaire venue/club. It’s the other side of the South Bridge from Bannerman’s, and also makes use of the old vaults under the bridge. Through the back there’s a nice old low vaulted stone ceiling, lots of exposed stone walls and long benches with various games tables spanning the centuries from chess to Pac-Man. The front half has a mixture of mismatching furniture, low victorian(?) ceilings, corrugated iron bar-front, and the now apparently mandatory light-bulbs-in-a-cage (so hot right now).
It was very quiet on our Tuesday night visit, circa 7pm, with only a few folk. This was good news for us though, it meant we got easy access to the sweet arcade machines through the back (see “Amenities”). There was a DJ desk set up but no DJ, so maybe it was all going to kick off later once the young’ns came out to play.
I can’t comment on “Cab Vol” these days, not having been in for years, and they’ve changed hands since. I believe it’s now a G1 Group bar, and so is a sister venue to The Three Sisters, Biddy Mulligans, Ghillie Dhu etc.
I think these were all keg: Harviestoun Bitter and Twisted, Williams Joker IPA, Tennent’s Lager, Guinness, Heverlee, Red Stripe, Magners.
My useless notes on the price of the round tell me that it was £13.60 for 3 soft drinks and a pint and a half of unknown beer. All that tells me is it’s either expensive beer or expensive soft drinks or both. If beers are £4 a pint, then it’s still about £2.50 for a soft drink.
A small menu of pizzas are available, about 8 of them ranging from £7.50 to £8.50. There’s a 2 for 1 offer on Monday to Friday until 8pm.
The finest in retro gaming! Up the back there are at least two old multi-player table consoles with loads of games from Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Space Invaders etc. I could have sat there for hours, but we had to keep moving.
Did you know that Pac-Man grossed over $3 billion in around two years? That’s not even adjusted for inflation. It’s one of the highest grossing, best selling arcade video games of all time according to Wikipedia.