Pinballs available:

  • Black Knight: Sword Of Rage – Stern, 2019
  • Deadpool – Stern, 2018
  • Fish Tales – Williams, 1992
  • Game Of Thrones – Stern, 2015
  • Ghost Busters – Stern, 2016
  • Guardians Of The Galaxy – Stern, 2017
  • Guns N’ Roses – Data East, 1994
  • Indiana Jones – Williams, 1993
  • Iron Maiden: Legacy Of The Beast – Stern, 2018
  • Johnny Mnemonic – Williams, 1995
  • Jurassic Park – Stern, 2019
  • Last Action Hero – Data East, 1993
  • Medieval Madness – Williams, 1997
  • Monster Bash – Williams, 1998
  • NASCAR – Stern, 2005
  • South Park – Sega, 1999
  • Star Trek – Stern, 2013
  • Star Wars – Stern, 2017
  • The Jetsons – Spooky Pinball, 2017
  • The Munsters – Stern, 2019
  • The Walking Dead – Stern, 2014
  • Twilight Zone – Bally, 1993
  • World Cup Soccer – Bally, 1994
The sign outside Pins Mechanical Co in Nashville
The sign outside Pins Mechanical Co in Nashville

Nashville, TN has been known for generations as “Music City USA” largely due to being the home of many famous recording studios, record companies and artists; there are 74 recording studios in operation within Nashville at last count.

In the 2020s, Nashville has seen a huge influx of businesses moving their headquarters and regional offices to the city. Because of this there has been a corresponding boom in building of apartments, condos, flats and single family homes. To amuse the growing population, Nashville’s entertainment and night life has steadily expanded over the last decade with dozens of new destinations joining perennial favorites The Grand Old Opry and The Ryman Auditorium.

Pins Mechanical Co. Nashville is a very new entertainment destination located in the heart of Nashville’s ‘The Gulch’ historic district just south of downtown. The Gulch was originally home to Nashville’s downtown railroad terminal with over 100 trains arriving and departing daily when it was at its peak. In the years following World War Two, The Gulch became a mostly neglected area with abandoned warehouses, buildings and slums.

In recent years The Gulch and surrounding area has been reborn with ultra-modern high rise office, apartment and condo buildings either recently completed or in the final stages of construction. There is a great deal of entertainment and night life in The Gulch, including The Watermark for luxury dining, The Yazoo Brewing Company, Sambuca, Ru Sans Sushi & Seafood and Apricot Lane. The Country Music Hall of Fame is located in The Gulch and is walkable to or from Pins Mechanical. Unique shopping can be found in The Gulch including the Two Old Hippies and Ruckle & Rye shops.

One of the signs inside Pins Mechanical
One of the signs inside Pins Mechanical

Pins Mechanical Co. fits perfectly into this newly upscale area with its industrial design and spacious, open layout.

The Cage at the entrance to Pins Mechanical
The Cage at the entrance to Pins Mechanical
Part of the spacious interior
Part of the spacious interior

There are a number of ‘in-jokes’ such as their slogan which is “When Life Gives You Balls, Play With Them”.

The company slogan at the entrance
The company slogan at the entrance

Other somewhat snarky adult jokes can be found, such as the neon sign pointing the way to the restroom which announces: “Heeeere’s Johnny!” in tribute to the former host of TV’s ‘The Tonight Show’. Almost everywhere you look there are little jokes and puns, such as the single step between two gaming areas marked “Level Up” and “Level Down”.

Ed McMahon's famed catchphrase
Ed McMahon’s famed catchphrase
Movie references at the entrance to the restrooms
Movie references at the entrance to the restrooms
Quotes from Sixteen Candles, Die Hard and Coming to America above the urinals
Quotes from Sixteen Candles, Die Hard and Coming to America in neon above the urinals
Level Up and Down
Level Up and Down

The first game that visitors will encounter is a version of vertical ring toss at the entrance called ‘Hookie’. It helps to set the “let’s play” feeling straight away. There are two games side-by-side and the instructions on how to play and score are posted nearby on a wall.

Want to play Hookie?
Want to play Hookie?
Here's how
Here’s how

Found throughout the main floor are dozens of old school stand up console video games that can be played for 25 cents per game.

Some of the many video games
Six of the many classic video games to play at classic prices
More classic vids
More classic vids
Yet more videos
Yet more videos
The current video game high scores
The current video game high scores

Usually there are credits on each game so it is possible to spend many hours playing for free. There is also a console video game area with comfortable leather couches and large screen TVs for you to settle in and enjoy your favorite games. There is a considerable library of console games to choose from – just follow the directions to change the games.

Video consoles with a selection of games
Video consoles with a large selection of games

On the back wall are the sixteen automatic ‘Duckpin’ alleys with computer scoring. Duckpin is said to have originated in the north-eastern United States in either Boston or Lowell Mass. depending on which account of history you subscribe to.

Some of the Duckpin lanes
Two of the sixteen Duckpin lanes

Duckpin is similar to ten-pin bowling, but there are some differences; Duck pins are shorter and squatter, the ball used is smaller and does not have finger holes, and no special shoes are required to play. The duckpin lanes at PMCo are shorter (‘mini duckpin’) and are not oiled like their ten-pin cousins.

Two more Duckpin lanes
Two more Duckpin lanes

The lanes cost $5 per player per game which is similar to the cost of ten-pin games in the USA. I read that Pins Nashville have “kids play free duckpin” promotions from time-to-time. Keep an eye on their Facebook page if you are interested.

Due to the pandemic, Pins suspended their duckpin leagues but they are expected to return in the late-summer/early-fall of 2021.

Near the duckpin lanes are ping-pong (table tennis) games and bocce ball courts.

Table Tennis is available to play too
Table Tennis is available to play too

Bocce seems to be very popular these days in trendier places in the USA and is actually a great game for social interaction. These games are rented by the half hour ($6) or hour ($10).

Bocce Ball courts
Bocce Ball courts with how-to-play signs

The spacious patio area at Pins Mechanical Co. has a number of games available such as Jumbo Jenga and ‘Patio Pong’ (sometimes known as ‘Garbage Ball’) using plastic trash bins and a very soft ball similar in texture to a nerf ball.

The patio at Pins Mechanical
The patio at Pins Mechanical
Patio Pong
Patio Pong

The patio games are FREE to play while the patio also has fire pits and comfortable seating for guests to stretch out and relax.

Chilling out round the fire pit
Chilling out round the fire pit
Relaxing in the patio area
Relaxing in the patio area

The patio area is dog-friendly and has water bowls available for your canine companions as well as a ‘wag bag’ of treats which is available for the asking.

There is a bar area on the patio which has a shaved ice machine for adult versions of this warm weather treat. The June shaved ice special is the ‘rainbow’ shaved ice in honor of Pride Month. I tried one and they are both delicious and refreshing. They offer something called a ‘Pin Pop’ which is an adult version of a popsicle available in a half-dozen flavors.

Some of the drinks available from the patio bar
Some of the drinks available from the patio bar

There is another bar inside with a great selection of $10 specialty cocktails, 24 craft beers on tap (12 macro-brews available) and small-batch liquors. For those who prefer, $6 ‘Mocktails’ are available that are liquor free; and you can keep the glass!

Drinks at the inside bar
Drinks at the inside bar
More of the drinks available
More of the drinks available including the Pinball Wizard

Pins Mechanical Co. does not have a kitchen and as such does not offer food. Most nights of the week there is a food truck (or sometimes two) near the entrance where you can buy something on which to nosh and it is OK to carry-in your purchases. The food truck schedule can be found on the Pins Mechanical Co. website.

Fatty Matty's is one of the food trucks at Pins Mechanical
Fatty Matty’s is one of the food trucks at Pins Mechanical

Having said all of that, let’s get to the Pinball Hall which is located in the heart of Pins Mechanical Co. The Pinball Hall has stunningly beautiful artwork and graphics on the walls, floor and ceiling. It looks to me like something that a multi-billionaire would have built for his private game room.

Pins Mechanical's Pinball Hall
Pins Mechanical’s Pinball Hall

The lineup of pin-games is listed at the beginning of this review; games are either $1 or 50 cents per credit and have fairly generous free game and extra ball thresholds. Some of the games have dollar bill acceptors while others are quarters only. There is a change machine conveniently located nearby.

One of the rows of games in the Pinball Hall
One of the rows of games in the Pinball Hall
The opposite row of gamees
The opposite row of gamees

All of the games that I played were in excellent shape and 100 percent of the features worked as they should. They have a technician on duty at all times so if any problem is encountered just flag down an employee in a pinstripe shirt for assistance. Tip: I found a few pinballs with credits on them or partially played games, so keep a watchful eye out!

Stranger Things at Pins Mechanical
Stranger Things at Pins Mechanical
The classic Medieval Madness game
The classic Medieval Madness game

I would suggest that the management consider booster stools in the Pinball Hall for children to use. This will avoid children dragging bar-stools into the pinball area. Pins Mechanical Co. Nashville is a relatively new venue, so perhaps this will be an improvement for the future.

Last Action Hero is not often seen on location
Last Action Hero is not often seen on location

Near the Pinball Hall are foosball (table soccer) games for 50 cents per game. I was told that they will have foosball leagues re-starting in the late summer.

Foosball tables outside the Pinball Hall
Foosball tables outside the Pinball Hall

There is a second floor lounge area accessed by stairs where there are two more pinball games. I imagine that this area was designed to be a meeting area for people to hang out and watch sports on the big screen TVs.

Pins Mechanical Co. is 21+ only after 7pm and is open until 2:30am on Friday and Saturday. Pins Nashville isn’t really a destination for parents with young or sensitive kids because of the adult humor and drinking. If your youngsters are mature enough to understand what is going on, they will have a great time; it’s your call!

Not everything is child-friendly
Not everything is child-friendly

The workers and managers at Pins are very customer-focused and they understand that they are in the entertainment business. The few-and-far-between difficulties are fixed quickly while employees are happy to answer questions and assist guests as needed.

Adults are required to show ID to enter even before 7pm, which I thought was odd. There is no admission charge and given the amount of free games and entertainment available, I feel that this is a significant bargain.

Pins Nashville has a hourly-rate parking lot behind the building and there is a good deal of free street parking if you don’t mind and are able to walk for a block or two. This may change when the nearby apartment buildings are completed so be aware. There is an app-operated ‘Lime’ rent-a-scooter station near Pins and from what I can tell, it is only a short walk to and from ‘Moovit’ or Music City Circuit public bus lines. When imbibing it is always a good idea to consider a taxi or public transport for your trip home.

Seldom do I find a barcade that gives its guests such massive amounts of reasonably-priced adult fun. This is certainly one of the top barcades that I have visited in recent years. Do yourself a favor and stop in to Pins Mechanical Co. when visiting Nashville TN.

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