There’s a typical cycle that most NQ bars go through (unless they have a big marketing budget from the outset). First there’s the days or perhaps even weeks before the official launch when the place is still finding it’s feet. The staff won’t know where anything is, the atmosphere will be a little odd and you’ll get the occasional freebie because they want you to come back and that first meeting with the accountant hasn’t happened yet.

Then it’s the opening night itself. Cheap drinks galore and a bunch of people who will probably never go again, but they will tell enough of their friends to put it on the map. The penultimate stage, otherwise known as the glory weeks, is what follows as the early adopters enjoy the perfect balance of a not-too-busy bar filled with the right people.

Unfortunately Twenty Twenty Two seems to be in the final phase. The dickhead phase. It’s when a once promising venue (that is still great at the right times) gets swarmed upon by people who have heard it’s cool but were not cool enough to venture in when it actually was cool. The debut album is a distant memory, welcome to the difficult second album.

It’s only on recent visits that the NQ Review team have got this vibe and maybe it’s just us getting old, but the spacious basement bar where you could casually sample a game of beer pong and get to the toilets without fighting your way there seems to have gone recently and that’s a shame because 2022 is everything an NQ bar should be, even down to the revolving artists work adorning the walls (remember that, Common?).

This current incarnation of 2022 is actually the second coming, it opened in 2012 (ten years ago) and we’ll be honest, it didn’t really get on our radars as we were mostly hanging out at Kosmonaut. However in 2014 (eight years ago), when 2022 more-or-less doubled in size by opening up a second room containing four ping pong tables, it piqued our interest again. This addition of sport does seem to have brought with it an unusual smell but it certainly sets it apart in the NQ (sorry Kosmonaut but your wiff waff table just gets in the way). The pitched seating and alcoves that form a makeshift viewing area being a particular highlight if you’d rather not take part in the paddle action.

Compared to some of it’s peers the beer selection is a little limited, a few smaller brewery ales and the usual selection of bottled craft beers make up the menu, but it does seem to be a little cheaper than the going rate and if you’re going to use it for beer pong who really cares about the quality?

2022 used to feel like a small gig venue without the band, lately it’s turned into more of a club. Open until 4am, it’s certainly a preferable end of late night destination to Black Dog Ballroom, but we’re all in bed by midnight anyway. Perhaps we should start visiting earlier on in the night, those old sofas do look darned comfy after all.

Twenty Twenty Two

Classification: Arty bar & Wiff Waff Locale

Food: None

Drinks: Small selection of draught beers, lots of bottles, cocktails

Price: ££

Related City Centre establishments: Cherry’s

Bongo rating: 6/10

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