Pins Mechanical Co. brings fun and drinks to the South Side

Last updated on November 16, 2022 by Jeremy

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We’ve always wondered what would go in the former South Side Works movie space, and we have to admit that an entertainment complex wasn’t the first thing on our radar.

But when Columbus-based Pins Mechanical Co. announced the opening of a two-story, 30,000-square-foot bar and game room, complete with bowling, pinball, vintage arcade games, etc., we were intrigued.

We had a chance to check this one out shortly after a media event opened, and we have to admit, this one packs a punch (and more)!

Two floors of fun at Pins Mechanical on the South Side

The first thing you’ll notice when you enter Pins Mechanical is that it doesn’t look like a traditional entertainment complex or barcade. That is, games aren’t packed into every available square foot of space.

Instead, Pins Mechanical makes good use of the space of the old cinema in that the games are available in various themed corners of the establishment. The duck bowling alleys are split into several sections, the arcade games are mostly found in a separate area on the main level, and the pinball machines are tastefully laid out throughout – with a nice presentation on the 2nd floor.

Duckpin Bowling at Pins Mechanical Co. Pittsburgh

As such, you can have different types of experiences while visiting here simply depending on which section(s) of the facility you wish to spend time in. We found ourselves drawn to their 2nd floor patio, especially for the outdoor fire pit with bar. , which was only a few steps away from the previously mentioned pinball arrangement. Later we headed to the bowling section of the venue for a game where we also felt completely removed from all the other entertainment.

For us, that’s a good thing because the ambience here has been meticulously thought out for guests of all interests. If we had turned around and seen an entire floor of pinball machines and arcade machines behind us when bowling, for example, the experience just wouldn’t have been the same.

Duckpin Bowling at Pins Mechanical Company in Pittsburgh

Perhaps the best part about Pins Mechanical is that they have two prominent slides right in the heart of the facility for those who want to take a spectacular exit from the 2nd floor. If you’re thinking of being kids again, you can really do it in style here!

hookie game

Finally, while it should be noted that Pins Mechanical is family-friendly during the day, they transform into a 21+-only venue after 8 p.m. in the evening. This is common in barcades in Pittsburgh and should be noted for anyone visiting with children.

A great bar program completes the experience

2nd Floor Terrace Bar at Pins Mechanical

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Outside of games, Pins Mechanical Company has not one, not two, but three bars in its two-story space. One bar is on the first floor, one bar is on the second, and a third is a hybrid indoor/outdoor bar on their 2nd floor terrace (you can order from both sides!).

The bar menu here is a healthy mix of around a dozen cocktails, 36 draft beers, mocktails, and more. Although most bars offer the same menu, it should be noted that the list of taps may vary as some bars, such as the patio bar on the 2nd floor, are slightly smaller than the main bars.

So how are the drinks?

Clockwork Cocktail Pin and Flipper

On the cocktail side, many drinks are game-themed like the Pinball Wizard (blueberry vodka with elderflower, ginger ale and blueberries) or contain a unique food element as well as the Hulk Hogan (blueberry vodka with lemonade and a Bomb Pop whole) or the Ginger Spices (bourbon with ginger beer, lime, cinnamon bitters and caramel apple sucker) to name a few. These drinks tend to be sweeter, as is often the case in barcade concepts, but are well balanced for the ingredients in each drink.

Yes, having a whole bomb or caramel apple lollipop to enjoy after a libation is as fun as the drinks themselves, and we appreciate the novelty of these even if they’re not our favorite style of cocktail. (Although for the purists, it should be noted that the bars also offer more premium spirits!)

Draft beer in Pins

Beer side, Pins Mechanical’s preliminary list spans the spectrum from top domestic producers and international favorites to local and regional craft beers. Weihenstephaner from Germany was found alongside Lustra from Dancing Gnome, Dark from Penn Brewery, Spyglass from Cincinnati-based Urban Artifact, Yuengling and Miller Lite to name a few. Suffice to say, the draft list here has a little something for all interests that we appreciate.

Despite Pins Mechanical Co.’s great bar program, it’s worth noting that this one doesn’t serve food-only libations. But while this one could probably work well with a food menu, there’s a tangential benefit to point out as a result: they’re dog-friendly.

Yes, this bar and entertainment complex allows you to bring your four-legged friend along for the fun and is a little extra perk for those with a pup. (As a bonus, the South Side Works Dog Park is also right outside the property!)

All in all, Pins Mechanical on the South Side has done a pretty spectacular job of renovating the former movie theater space into a monster entertainment complex for those who love arcade games, pinball, bowling and more. If you’re looking for a bit of fun outside of the normal South Side bar scene (and maybe still want a libation to go with it), this one offers a welcome change of scenery and we look forward to visit more in the future!

Mechanical Pins is located at 407 Cinema Drive in South Side Works. Please note that they don’t turn 21 until after 8pm and they operate cashless bars. We were Pins Mechanical’s guests for a media night. As always, all opinions are our own.

Looking for more good places to pinball and arcade games in Pittsburgh? Click on the previous link to discover some of our favorites!

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