We like Stereo Arcade’s marriage of retro gaming and clubbing, and the opening of Boom Room promised an R&B venue, dedicated to hip-hop, rap and heavy beats, with music from the city’s up-and-coming DJs.
And so we head over at 10pm on a Thursday night to catch some exciting new acts from Dubai’s burgeoning music scene. Sadly, we’re told the venue won’t be showcasing the same variety as in the past – cue an underwhelming playlist and a creeping sense of disappointment.
It’s a massive shame, because not only could we imagine the funky – albeit small – stage in the corner playing home to some awesome live music, but also because we can’t see the bar’s appeal beyond this niche. Without the excitement of live music and ever-changing DJs, it’s a relatively small blank space that lacks in character. It’s a trendier version of function rooms in cities around the world that do have live music – and there’s not much else to it. There’s a small handful of booths and tables in one corner, and a high proportion of space is taken up by the bar and stage. The walls are lined with some fairly melancholy monochromatic cartoon drawings.
The drinks list is decent, and offers high-quality products at reasonable prices.
But, tellingly, we’re more excited by the Stereo Arcade lobby with free-to-play retro arcade game machines. You’ll find us trying to beat Zangief on Street Fighter II.
The bottom line Could be brilliant, if it had live music.