Pinball: an intransitive verb meaning to move abruptly from one place to another, according to Merriam-Webster and their famous dictionary. Their example of using pinball in a sentence is “At 150 feet up, Harrington slipped and fell, pinballing off the rocks before finally being caught in her rope.” Ok. That’s probably accurate seeing as how it’s the job of the fine people at M-W to know what words mean and how to properly use them. Yes, you say. It’s most likely accurate. But who uses pinball as a verb? Not I, my friends. When I (and most of the world, I’m guessing) hear that word it instantly takes me to a happy place where the hot dogs are amazing and the beer is served in tall cans….Shorty’s!
Shorty’s – Seattle’s First Pinball Bar
This Seattle institution has been offering a Coney Island type experience to it’s patrons for over 20 years, and is one of the most fun attractions in Seattle. Named after the owner’s dog, it’s widely recognized as the first pinball dive bar in Seattle; and while I can neither confirm nor deny that statement, it’s rings true. I know I’ve been going there for after hours fun since the late 90’s. It was a kind of right of passage for those of us growing up in the Emerald City. The passage of time has seen the Belltown neighborhood where Shorty’s lives grow, some say for the worse, but that’s a whole other conversation. Regardless of how you feel about the gentrification and influx of yuppies and their money to the area, you can be certain that the terrifying clown on the front door will be welcoming you for years to come.
Shorty’s is open 11:30 am to 2 am every day for it’s 21+ patrons. They are famous for their Shorty Dog, a Vienna hot dog served with all kinds of different toppings – and they’re all delicious. They also offer nachos and several types of salad sandwiches. Happy hour is offered daily from noon to 4 pm ($3.25 pints and $11 pitchers of Highlife) and again from 4 pm to 9 pm (PBR and a well shot for $8). There are 14 pinball and arcade machines, and two vintage bowling machines upstairs in the Trophy Room – which is available for special events and parties. If you’re looking for an unforgettable 40th birthday or bachelor party, this is the place to do it! Oh, and if you’re into boozy smoothies (and who isn’t?), they have a great selection. This last July they moved a few blocks down, but the change in address didn’t deter their loyal fans – who says pinball is just for kids?
If you love pinball, but have people under 21 in your life who want to spend some rainy-day hours indoors in one of the most fun attractions in Seattle, look no further than the Seattle Pinball Museum. It offers over 20 games, everything from a 1961 Williams Bo Bo to a 2017 Chicago Gaming Co. Attack from Mars. It’s open Thursday – Monday from noon – 6 pm, and has later hours until 8 pm on Friday and Saturday. Visitors 7 and up can play all the games, which all have cup holders for the vintage sodas (in glass bottles no less!) and craft beers offered at their snack bar.
The Museum got its start in August of 2010 thanks to a neighborhood revitilazation program called Storefronts Seattle. They were given a grant to open a space to showcase vintage pinball machines for other enthusiasts and collectors in the International District – they wanted to offer an art exhibit that was as vintage as it was interactive. In June of 2011 they transitioned into an independent business and have been delighting patrons of all ages ever since. It now has games dating back to 1934, but also offers modern marvels as well. Trust me, there is something for everyone. Because they are always acquiring new games, a live list is kept on the their website for people looking for anything specific. They are also a certified distributor of games for collectors looking to pick something up.
Taking Time to Enjoy These Famous and Fun Attractions in Seattle.
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