The Silver Ballroom

I am a huge fan of pinball.  I spent some of my formative years in the Bel-Air bowling alley in

Belleville

, Illinois and Aladdin's Castle in the St. Clair Square mall in

Fairview

Heights, Illinois pumping many quarters into pinball machines.  My favorites were Elvira, Whirlwind,

Funhouse

and Bride of

Pinbot

.

 But where can you go to play pinball in St. Louis?  Our vintage bowling alleys have been destroyed to make way for

Walgreens

(Red Bird Lanes and Carriage Bowl).  There aren't any arcades that I'm aware of in the city (please correct me if I'm wrong).  And, there are just a few places that have pinball (Cecil Whittaker's on Grand comes to mind).

Well all that has recently changed thanks to the

Silver Ballroom

at 4801 Morgan Ford, right at

Itaska

in the heart of the

Bevo

neighborhood.

I was lucky enough to have some time sans kids and my wife is cool, so you know she enjoys playing pinball and drinking a few beers and listening to some music. 

All our needs were met at this righteous joint.  First of all, the owner is really cool and friendly.  The bar is covered in various punk band

flyers

from shows in St. Louis.  Sonic Youth, Minutemen, the Replacements, Husker Du, etc.

The place is divided into two rooms, the first with the bar, some small tables and a kick ass jukebox with the Clash, X,

Supersuckers

, Pixies, Black Flag, MC5 and Lou Reed among others.  I dropped in a buck to spin Gigantic by the Pixies, Delta 88 by X and Six Pack by Black Flag.  That got the juices pumping.

The next room is the money room.  This is where the pinball action occurs.  There is a small stage set up for bands, several tables, a change dispenser and 9 pinball machines.

I was pleased to see the Machine Bride of

Pinbot

as one, Elvis (by Stern), No Good Golfers (by Williams), Dr. Dude (by Bally), Apollo 13 (by Sega), The Champion Pub (by Bally) and 3 old time classics that were being restored and repaired for play:  Toledo (by Williams), Lucky Lady (by Williams) and Zip-A-

Doo

(by Bally).

The drinks were great and the beer selection is good, I called a

Czechvar

.  The lights that hang from the ceiling are crafted from Jack Daniels bottles.

There is a small menu that includes several items all under $5.50:

  • The Beefeater (1/4 lb chopped beef with sharp cheddar and horseradish cream)
  • The All American (1/4 lb all-beef frank onions, relish, mustard)
  • The Bavarian (1/4 lb knackwurst, mashed potatoes, kraut)
  • The Sicilian (1/4 lb salsiccia braised with peppers and onions)
  • and Billy Goat Chips made fresh in Princeton Heights.

Some of the sausages come from the dynamite G and W Bavarian sausage at Parker and

Kingshighway

.

I highly recommend this south city bar.  Pinball, punk rock, non-pretentious, good food, beer and booze.