Currently Reading: High Score Pinball

Pinball bars in Fremont and Capitol Hill are a stoner’s refuge

Tucked away underneath Piece of Mind, with a back alley entrance is the largest collection of vintage coin operated arcade games in town. Not to mention carefully selected pinball games, and adult beverages in a blur of marquee bulbs. It’s called Add-A-Ball. And it’s the watering hole with the most character in Fremont.

The name is explained in a glossary of terms on the wall. See in the 1940s pinball games were being accused of allowing gamblers to profit, because replays could be cashed in for money. The add-a-ball feature rewarding performance, while also being a part of the game, became the norm.

High scores are recorded on their website and posted on-site, and the owners maintain an entertaining blog which gives a back story on the machines and reveals their passion for the games. This year they opened their second location, “John John,” on Olive Way at the foot of Capitol Hill. The Harlem Globetrotters game is a PDA Magazine favorite.



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