A futuristic pizza parlour has opened in Shepherds Bush that combines retro arcade games and tasty toppings.
Flipperoni is located at 112 Askew Road near the Co-op. The pizza lover behind the concept is 36-year-old Shepherds Bush entrepreneur Humraz Khan, who was born in Askew Road. He says the shop title is a mix of fliperama – the continental name for video game arcades – and pepperoni.
Humraz’s dad, a Second World War veteran, moved to Askew Road in the early Sixties, and Humraz and all his siblings grew up playing in Cathnor Park.
All the usual pizzas are on offer. A 12-inch magherita is £8.50. But you can also get a brunch pizza for £12.50 featuring sausage, egg and mushrooms. There are also salads, and sweet pizzas, including Nutella, all available for eat in, takeaway or delivery.
But the real fun is the arcade machines, air hockey and playstations, most of them down the stairs in the buzzy subterranean video games room, where offerings include nostalgic classics such as Pacman, Space Invaders, Tetris and Super Mario.
“Everyone loves the pizzas – but it’s the games room that’s really popular,” said Humraz, who, with his brothers, attended Greenside primary school, and was a regular at nearby The Sulgrave Youth Club in Goldhawk Road.
Games are age-graded, with accompanied under-7s restricted to the upstairs zone, where they can discover the fun of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Most of the VR games are limited to players aged 13 and over, unless groups of youngsters are hiring the place for private parties. There’s also a GameClub to join.
Humraz keeps up his links with the club, which is soon to celebrate its centenary and provides activities for more than 800 local young people.
“I do a lot with the youth clubs round here and I’ve had party bookings from Sulgrave,” he said.
While The Sulgrave Youth Club manager Nick Sazeides said: “It’s great to see a local lad open a business in the area he grew up in, and to accommodate young people from his former youth club.
“We spent two-and-a-half hours playing various arcade games on PlayStation 5, virtual reality headsets and various retro games, either side of a pizza and drink. The young people were pleased to get out of the house and have fun with their friends. We’re already looking forward to our next visit.”
Humraz offers special deals and discounts to students, adding: “Everyone loves the old-school retro games. We’ve even got Ping-Pong! People order pizzas, and then play while they wait.
“We opened in October, and the news has been spreading by word of mouth. All around the world – Italy, Colombia, Lebanon – it’s proving popular.”