Welcome to the first edition of PinSpotting. This column will be submitted to Pinball News occasionally to share with the readers the games that I have found in places that people would not normally expect to find them.
Portillo’s Restaurant and Drive-Through
Gurnee Mills, Gurnee, IL, USA
Portillo’s at Gurnee Mills
Each of Portillo’s restaurants have unique ‘themed’ decor; the location at the Gurnee Mills shopping center has a ‘Chicago in the 1930s’ theme. This is expressed with artwork for the Chicago World’s Fair, antique signs with neon lighting, and in one room, four playfields from antique pinball games.
The ’30s Chicago theme
Unfortunately the people responsible for acquiring the pinball playfields apparently were not experts – the playfields on display are quite a bit newer than the 1930s theme.
The playfields on display at Portillo’s Gurnee are:

Left: Tropic Isle, Gottlieb, April 1962,
art by Roy Parker
Right: Sunset, Gottlieb, November 1962,
art by Roy Parker

Gottlieb’s Tropic Isle & Sunset

Left: Champion, Bally, April 1949,
1-ball for 5 cents, horserace game
Right: Big Casino, Gottlieb, July 1961,
art by Roy Parker

Champion & Big Casino

Gilmore Automobile Museum
6865 W Hickory Rd., Hickory Corners. MI USA
George & Sally’s Diner at the Gilmore Automobile Museum
In a part of the museum dedicated to children’s pedal-cars, seeming somewhat out of place, is a Williams Maryland wood rail machine made in 1949. The artwork for this game was done by George Molentin.
The children’s pedal cars section
Maryland by Williams
There was a card on top of the playfield glass that incorrectly identified the machine as something altogether different. We temporarily removed the misleading card when our photo of the game was taken.
The museum has placed a ‘do not touch’ sign on the coin chute of the machine and it is not plugged in to power; as such, it is not playable by visitors.
More PinSpotting coming soon…