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:
 
Things No One Asked For: Prosecco-Flavored Nail Polish

Things No One Asked For: Prosecco-Flavored Nail Polish

If you're the kind of alcoholic who needs to have booze on your person at all times, Groupon has just the product for you: prosecco-flavored nail poli...read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Mar 22, 2017
The Sobro Refrigerator Coffee Table Means You Never Need to Get Up Again

The Sobro Refrigerator Coffee Table Means You Never Need to Get Up Again

A recent IndieGoGo campaign has resulted in a coffee table with everything you could want: the Sobro Refrigera...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 22, 2017
Celebrate Wine & The Women of Marvel at Pairings Portland Wine Shop, March 23-26

Celebrate Wine & The Women of Marvel at Pairings Portland Wine Shop, March 23-26

This weekend, Thursday March 23 through Sunday March 26, join the fun with wines made by female winemakers pai...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 21, 2017
SPONSORED
Cold Brew Hard Coffee is Coming to Stores in May

Cold Brew Hard Coffee is Coming to Stores in May

Soon, you'll be able to enjoy cold brew coffee with the alcohol percentage of a strong beer with Bad Larry's Cold Hard Coffee. ...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 17, 2017
Budweiser Wants to Be the First Beer Consumed on Mars

Budweiser Wants to Be the First Beer Consumed on Mars

In what is undoubtedly the company's latest publicity stunt, Budweiser announced Saturday, March 11 at SXSW in Austin, Texas that they are looking int...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Mar 16, 2017
Portland's Best Non-Alcoholic Bar Programs

Portland's Best Non-Alcoholic Bar Programs

Whether you're a designated driver, trying to saving money, cutting out alcohol entirely, or just feel like going out without getting buzzed, here are...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 14, 2017
Where to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day 2017 in Portland

Where to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day 2017 in Portland

St. Patrick's Day is a time for celebration in Portland, not just because we always love an excuse to drink stout, but also because it marks the end o...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 14, 2017
Visit One of Portland's Many Female Owned Bars and Restaurants

Visit One of Portland's Many Female Owned Bars and Restaurants

If you want to go to a bar and support women this Women's History Month, try some of these great women owned Portland bars....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 8, 2017
BrewDog's Latest Project is a Crowdfunded Craft Beer Hotel

BrewDog's Latest Project is a Crowdfunded Craft Beer Hotel

The publicly owned Scottish brewery announced their plans to crowdfund a craft beer hotel, called the "Dog House" via Indiegogo less than week ago. ...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Mar 8, 2017
Appleton Estate Celebrates 20 Years with Joy Spence

Appleton Estate Celebrates 20 Years with Joy Spence

Appleton Estate, the Jamaican rum label, is celebrating 20 years with its master distiller Joy Spence this year....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 7, 2017
SPONSORED
View all Articles

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

Close