Whether you’re a seasoned flipper wizard or just a sucker for those pretty flashing lights, Portland has lots of places to get your game on. We’ve rounded up a few favorite Portland pinball spots.
Pinball bars in Portland
Situated in an expansive, dimly lit building in Old Town, Ground Kontrol once housed the most pinball machines in Portland. Though Quarterworld (see below) now holds that title, Ground Kontrol still reigns when it comes to keeping your pockets full. Twice-monthly free play nights get you unlimited play when you pay $5 at the door. The full bar and snack-focused food menu will keep you going for hours, and minors are welcome before 4:30 p.m.
Don’t let the ominous eyeball logo plastered on the doors of C-Bar scare you away. This watering hole is surely one of the city’s coziest and friendliest pinball spots. In addition to pinball, C-Bar offers a rotating selection of taps and other machines to boot. Fan favorites like Elvira and the Party Monsters intermix freely with old-school electro-mechanical gems like Mousin’ Around. With a mean happy hour and booth-filled dining area, this is a family-friendly haven that welcomes kids until 9:30 p.m.
If you like to pair pinball with slices of crispy handmade pizza, Blackbird is your destination. Stroll past the sleek décor and leather booths and up a flight of stairs to reach pizza and pinball heaven. They’ve even got vegan and gluten-free pizza options!
For a decade, this divey Foster-Powell staple has served stiff drinks and an array of excellent food options. (Don’t miss their decadent burgers and anchovy-adorned slices of tomato toast.) The no-frills Slingshot Lounge also provides a spacious gaming area, with a healthy row of machines and pool tables. Coincidentally, “slingshot” is also the term for the triangular nodes above the flippers that ricochet the heck out of unruly balls.
Goodfoot Pub & Lounge
Known for groovin’ dance nights and live shows, the Goodfoot is an unexpected contender when it comes to pinball retreats. Six machines grace the upstairs portion of this venue. On weekday nights without booked gigs, the lightly populated pub makes an ideal setting for uninterrupted practice.
Opened in 2016, Quarterworld boasts the title of largest “barcade” (bar-arcade) in all of Portland. Split into adult and kid-friendly sides, the old theater houses an impressive 34 machines and 64 arcade games. Door fees and some pricy machines can make this a spendy pit stop, but happy hours lower the prices. And the myriad of options just might make it feel priceless.
Pinball Outreach Project
Sources cite varying eras as pinball’s golden age. Northeast Portland’s Pinball Outreach Project (POP), however, doesn’t think pinball popularity has to be a thing of the past. Originally started as a mobile tour to bring games to children’s hospitals, POP is now a full-time 501(c)(3) charity. POP HQ has more than a dozen machines and charges 50 cents per game or $10 for unlimited all-day play. (Kids 13 and under play free during specified times.) Hours vary, so check online in advance.
More Portland pinball
Looking to explore beyond these seven spots? Check out the Portland Pinball Map.