Bang Back Pinball Lounge
741 Saluda Ave,
‘Five Points’,
Columbia, SC 29205, USA
(803) 834-4462
http://www.bangbackpinball.com/

Games change frequently, so please consult the venue’s website or a tool such as Pinball Map.

Arcade 'Welcome' sign
Arcade ‘Welcome’ sign

Bang Back Pinball Lounge is approaching its fourth year in Columbia, South Carolina, in the entertainment and dining district of ‘Five Points.’ The founder and general manager, Frederick Richardson, in concert with his staff, has done a great job combining a comfortable lounge with stellar cocktails, a great craft beer selection (16 on tap!), a well-curated next-level menu of culinary delights and a first-class gaming experience.

16 Local Craft Beers on Tap – Selection Rotates / Well Stocked Liquor Section

I usually sneak undercover into a location I will be reviewing to gather my information, but day manager Beka and night manager Megan spotted me immediately. I didn’t even have my bulky DSLR equipment draped all over me. I think they are psychic, but in a good way.

All games are well-maintained, meaning everything works as it should and is as polished as a newly minted penny. That is no small accomplishment when you have 20+ games available for the public to play. Game prices range from 50 cents per credit to $1 per credit. I felt the games were set a bit ‘tight’, but if you are a good player, a credit will win you a game or two. A change machine is available, and the bartenders are happy to break large denomination bills for you if needed.

Sampling of some games available during my visit.
Marco keeps Bang Back supplied with the latest games.

Their stated motto is: “At Bang Back, everyone is Family. We love and respect our guests, our staff, our neighbors, and our environment. The Bang Back Pinball Lounge is a Fun and Safe place where everyone is welcome! We encourage you to Come in and Make Friends.”

Bang Back has some spectacular wall art

During my brief visit, it is evident that they walk the talk by providing a welcoming environment and a superior customer service experience. 

One of the many great murals on the walls at Bang Back. Do you recognize who this is?

I didn’t have the time to try their Wisconsin-style Bloody Mary “meal in a glass” cocktail, but the Columbia locals say if you say “Bloody Mary” in the mirror three times on a Sunday, you’ll teleport to Bang Back Pinball Lounge. Try it out at noon and see if it works!

Wisconsin Style Bloody Mary – A Meal In A Glass

Their menu is a work in progress in some ways and is constantly being expanded. I’d invite you to look at their latest offerings and specials on their website. The menu covers the gamut from American comfort foods and sandwiches to low-country seafood to (IMO) the best-tasting tacos east of Santa Fe.

A recent addition to the menu are the QUESADILLAS! Shrimp Quesadilla (Grilled or Fried) – topped with mango-lime slaw, gochujang chili aioli, and feta. Chicken Quesadilla – topped with grapefruit-chive chimichurri, queso fresco, and pickled red onions. Pork Carnitas Quesadilla – topped with salsa verde, queso fresco, and black bean-corn salsa. All served with chips and salsa!

Tex-Mex Style Tacos (L) and Chicken Quesadilla (R)

If you are a hardcore carnivore, I suggest you try their famous FIVE POINTS BURGER BUSTER sandwich. It is 6 oz of ground sirloin stuffed with southern-style pimento cheese, topped with applewood bacon, caramelized onions, and fried jalapeños. Sliced Roma tomatoes, pickles, white truffle aioli, and smoky mustard vinaigrette are also included. It’s a feast for one, but great for sharing!

The Big Mama – Five Points Burger Buster

Bang Back offers café seating outdoors at tables topped with pinball playfield graphics during the warmer months. This is where the smokers generally congregate when they feel the need to indulge.

Outdoor Cafe Tables

Lacking on the menus of some arcades/lounges with a kitchen is DESSERT. Recently, the Bang Back kitchen has added Fried Oreos and Banana Wonton Dumplings to their menu’s “sweets” portion. You never know when the craving will strike, and master in kitchen dojo Lennon Harkins has you covered.

Fried Oreos (L) and Banana Wonton Dumplings (R)

Bang Back hosts several IPFA-recognized pinball leagues, including the Belles and Chimes (COLA Chapter) and the Little Flippers for kids aged 4-12. Bang Back offers Sensory Sensitive Fun Time from 2 pm to 3 pm after Little Flippers, a time for kids with autism and other special needs to have an area of their own to learn and play pinball!

Bang Back hosts Belles and Chimes and Little Flippers Leagues.

They also have a full calendar of weekly and holiday/seasonal special events such as new game launch parties, Monday free play Industry Night, Thursday Women’s Pinball Night, Freeballin’ Friday, a Summer pinball league, and even a tech class to help pinball owners get up to speed on game maintenance and repair.

Special and Featured Events

Without question, I would suggest that you visit Bang Back Pinball Lounge when you are next in the Carolinas.

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