The cocktail bar hidden behind a video store that takes you back in time

It might seem anachronistic to see a fully-fledged video shop in the centre of Wakefield, given they mostly fell into disuse in the early noughties. But RBT Video on Northgate is much more than a video rental shop. The walls are lined with hundreds of VHS tapes, like a Blockbuster come back to life.

: The Sheffield city centre festival where you can watch blockbuster movies for free this month There’s also an unmarked door in the back of the store, but if visitors want to see behind it they’ll need a password. Every week, RBT Video chooses a movie of the week, which will be displayed in store and on the shop’s mysterious website.

To find out RBT’s secret, visitors must ask at the counter to rent the move of the week, which is currently 1993’s True Romance. If the correct film is named, visitors will be invited through the door to discover a speakeasy-style cocktail bar within.

RBT’s selection of vintage VHS tapes is inspired by Blockbuster

The bar is a real dedication to the 80s, dark, but full of neon lights and cocktails with a nostalgic twist. The cocktails revamp vintage favourites and give new ones an 80s twists.

They include the ‘Bjorn in the USA’ and ‘Blood in the Water’. The bar specialises in rum, bourbon, and tequila (creating the RBT), but also has craft beers on offer. There’s also New York-style pizza on offer and specially-commissioned neon artwork adorning the walls.

Nathan Birkinshaw, operations manager at RBT Video’s owner Host & Home, told YorkshireLive: “We wanted to try and create what 80s movies pretended the future would look like – like Back to the Future or Blade Runner.”

The cocktail bar hidden behind a video store that takes you back in timeRBT Video’s secret bar is filled with the flashing neon lights of the 80s

“We’re big film and booze buffs. We were reminiscing about Blockbusters and looking for all our old VHS collections and seeing what we could find and realised we had a thousand between us. “We wanted it to be an 80s bar but not cheesy.”

According to Host & Home, RBT Video is the only speakeasy bar hidden behind a video store in the world.

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On top of the quirky cocktails, visitors can take the vintage movie focus even further on Friday nights by heading out back to RBT’s car park. There they will find LOT, where a big screen goes up so bar-goers can switch between drinks and the movie. Last week’s film was Jaws, and the bar will be showing Rocky Horror on August 27 at 5pm.

There’s also a vintage ice-cream truck out back for those watching the movie to get snacks and drinks from, and RBT are inviting local food trucks and businesses to park up free of charge.

The cocktail bar hidden behind a video store that takes you back in timeRBT’s secret speakeasy offers both cocktails with a twist and pizza

RBT is also planning to host a monthly stand-up comedy night called Sips & Giggles. After opening in September last year, RBT didn’t get much time open due to the November and January lockdowns. However, the store used its fake facade to its advantage, and began selling VHS tapes online.

RBT Video is open Fridays and Saturdays from 5pm to 1am. Walk-ins are fine, but booking is available at the Host & Home website. Host & Home run several bars around Wakefield, including The Golden Pineapple, a Tiki bar with a Victorian twist, cocktail bar Velvet, and party bar Now Serving.

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