Preferred Portland Pinball: 5 Places to Play

Preferred Portland Pinball: 5 Places to Play

Pinball bridges the gap between all the most prominent Portland qualities: nostalgia for childhood, eccentricity and drinking. While most bars have a pinball machine tucked away in a lonely corner we are lucky to have a few standout establishments dedicated to the most Portland arcade game of all time. While the rest of the country is enjoying something called “the sun” you can protect your pale winter skin and socialize at the same time by exploring the best pinball bars in town.

Ground Kontrol: Boasting 27 machines, this Northwest barcade is the obvious choice for anyone looking for some pinball action. All ages are welcome until 10 PM, but this isn’t a place where you’ll be bothered by packs of sticky kids. The recently acquired liquor license can only make weekly events like “Rock Band Tuesdays” even more entertaining. We can all only hope the bar will have a nicely stocked liquor selection for spectators at the upcoming Pinbrawl tournament on April 22 (511 NW Couch St.; 503-796-9364).

C Bar: By far the most comfortable pinball bar in the city, the 15 machines here are located in a room of their own that can be opened up to the sunshine and breeze in the summer. Friendly staff and a rotating draft beer selection come together with the comfortable community atmosphere so well that hours can pass before you finally tear yourself away from their amazing Doctor Who machine. A bonus four machines are located just across the street at Ship Ahoy, in case the occasional tournament is dominating the pinball room (2880 SE Gladstone St.; 503-230-8808).

Slabtown: Located “within spitting distance of the Pearl,” this is a fun escape from what can feel like a stuffy neighborhood in the Northwest. Though well-known for frequent and loud live music shows, this is still a great pinball spot — while others are rocking out, you can beat their high scores in a separate room! Most importantly, the crowd tends to be friendly; industry night includes cabbies and trimet employees on top of the usual OLCC card holders (1033 NW 16th St.; 971-229-1455).

Billy Ray’s: The fact that this tavern barely has a sign sets the bar for what to expect. This gritty dive is a perfect pinball place for the whiskey and beer folks; not only for the wide selection of fine whiskey and brews, but because this is the place where lumberjacks would play pinball if lumberjacks were into pinball. No frills, cash only, cheap beer and plenty of tattoos — classic Portland (2216 NE MLK Blvd.; 503-287-7254).

Bonus Listing
Voodoo Doughnut Too: While not a bar proper, this bakery does have a special Rogue beer created in its honor. If you are really fiending for a game of pinball, you are covered here with 24-hour access (1501 NE Davis St.; 503-235-2666).

Photo via Flickr user ario_

Recent Articles
spacer

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
New Deal Pear Brandy Has Come to Portland

New Deal Pear Brandy Has Come to Portland

Pear brandy is an essential aspect of Portland's spirits scene. Clear Creek, Portland's oldest distillery, developed the first bottles of its flagshi...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Jan 16, 2018
Portland's Best Bar Snacks

Portland's Best Bar Snacks

Here are some of our favorite bars to grab a snack or meal in town. ...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Jan 16, 2018
Game of Thrones & HBO Are Releasing their 13th Beer Collaboration, Hand of the Queen

Game of Thrones & HBO Are Releasing their 13th Beer Collaboration, Hand of the Queen

Game of Thrones might not be coming back until 2019, but you can still drink like Tyrion Lannister with the ne...read more ›

by Drink Philly Jan 12, 2018
SPONSORED
Vodka-Infused Chocolate is Here to Ruin Your New Year's Resolutions

Vodka-Infused Chocolate is Here to Ruin Your New Year's Resolutions

The adult candy company, Sugarfina, is behind this sinful creation of vodka-infused chocolate cordials, and th...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Jan 10, 2018
'World's Most Expensive' Vodka Bottle Stolen, Later Found Empty

'World's Most Expensive' Vodka Bottle Stolen, Later Found Empty

The bar world was shaken last week when a bottle of vodka, reportedly the most expensive in the world at $1.3 million, was stolen from Cafe 33, a bar ...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Jan 9, 2018
Hangover-Free Cannabis Wine Now Being Sold in California

Hangover-Free Cannabis Wine Now Being Sold in California

Rebel Coast Winery was ready for California's change in legislation, as their marijuana-infused sauvignon blanc hit the shelves as the clock struck mi...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Jan 3, 2018
A New Study Shows that Wine Glasses Are Getting Bigger and Bigger

A New Study Shows that Wine Glasses Are Getting Bigger and Bigger

Good news for winos: a new study from the University of Cambridge says that the size of a standard wine glass is a full seven times larger than it was...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jan 3, 2018
Hero Kiwis Built an Island in New Zealand For a New Year's Eve Party

Hero Kiwis Built an Island in New Zealand For a New Year's Eve Party

A group of New Zealanders in the town of Tairua on the Coromandel peninsula rang in the New Year in the best w...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Jan 3, 2018
Brave the Winter with Hot Drinks in Portland

Brave the Winter with Hot Drinks in Portland

It's cold, and the best solution for that is to try out some hot cocktails. We rounded up nine of our favorite hot cocktails for 2017....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Jan 3, 2018
Where to Ring in 2018 in Portland

Where to Ring in 2018 in Portland

It seems that Portland, as a whole, is ready to move on from 2017 to whatever challenges await us in the New Year....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Dec 27, 2017
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close