A Visit to the Upside Down

A drink with a Demagorgon. Any fans of the Netflix Original series Stranger Things will instantly recognise my reference in the title. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, look it up – it’s fantastic!

Carl and I went for a mini city break to Edinburgh and before heading north discovered some fans had opened a Stranger Things inspired bar. After binge watching the series a few months ago, how could we not pay the place a visit? Question is; how did Carl and I manage to go to the Upside Down and live to tell the tale without being caught by the Demagorgon? Twice! Yes, that’s how much we enjoyed it, we went twice and probably would again if we didn’t live so far!

The folks over at Pop Up Geeks have turned a downstairs bar in the centre of Edinburgh, Scotland into a bar fit for the town of Hawkins.

The Decor

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Looking quite unsuspecting, this sign indicates not is all as it seems along Howe Street! Going down to the entrance door to the bar we had no idea what to expect – maybe a few cardboard cut outs?

Oh no!

Dusky lighting enhanced the main feature familiar to all Stranger Things fans … Joyce’s Lights!

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Further strings of lights lit up the area giving the bar a very relaxed atmosphere. A corner part of the wall length seating decked out like Eleven’s makeshift tent of bed sheets gives a sense of the place being very cosy.

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This could have made for quite an eerie atmosphere but put together with classic 80s music such as Hall & Oates and the soundtrack of Footloose there was no reason to feel tense!

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On one wall a large screen played Stranger Things muted but subtitled so as not to interfere with the music. There were also smaller screens playing different movie delights. On our first night we caught Dirty dancing and the second night was an Airplane behind the scenes documentary. If they don’t say Eighties I don’t know what does!

Each table had their own classic board game for patrons to enjoy at their leisure.

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Our table was the Yahtzee table so after explaining the game to Carl we decided to play a couple of games, while the two ladies on the next table were having a chilled out game of Trivial Pursuit – they must have been planning on staying for a while!

The Drinks

After finding ourselves a table we were almost instantly greeted by one of the team who gave us each a glass of water and would return after we had perused the drinks menu to take our order.

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You really couldn’t argue with the prices of the drinks. Between £7 to £8 for a novelty cocktail that isn’t included in an offer is a pretty average and decent price – especially in a city centre.

I decided to try their version of my favourite cocktail, the classic Piña colada, while Carl opted to try one of their Hard Shakes called “Sweet Dreams” which consisted of rum, banana and dark chocolate. We concluded both drinks were delicious! Carl even likened his shake to the flavour of old school Chuppa Chups! On the second visit he tested another shake going by the name of “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues” which mixed vodka with white chocolate and orange. Again, it was delicious!

The theme didn’t stop with the decor. On Carl’s milkshake bottle was a label with the missing information of poor little Will Byers.

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Team PopUpGeek even thought through the names of the drinks. Some kept their classic names – like my Piña Colada and the rosé from our second visit – while on the UPSIDE DOWN SIDE OF THE MENU (literally one side was written upside down, it was amazing!) they created some signature drinks like their ‘I Scream Floats’ named after cult movies such as The Thing, Nightmare on Elm Street and An American Werewolf in London.

The Food

Food? Yes, food, because they served EGGOS!!

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When we made our second visit we knew we had to try them before heading home. In short they are waffles made with a rather eggy mixture. Hence the name. They were served toasted drizzled with syrup and if it wasn’t for the fact we already had a dinner reservation we probably would have had more! Yum!

Check out the Pop Up Geek website for the opening times of this portal and if you aren’t far from Edinburgh centre in the next few weeks make sure you pay them a visit. They close their doors for the final time on October 31st! Don’t miss your chance to face the Demagorgon escaping from the wall!

2 thoughts on “A Visit to the Upside Down

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