The Mystic Krewe of the Silver Ball in New Orleans claims to have the South’s largest collection of pinball machines. The only catch? It’s a private social club, so you have to be a dues-paying member to get your mitts on their flipper buttons.
Plebs aren’t totally out of luck though. If you drop by Kebab, a casual Mediterranean joint in the Bywater neighborhood, you can pump quarters into a rotating selection of six or so machines, all on loan from the Mystic Krewe HQ. For now, this modest parlor is as close as NOLA gets to having a pinball arcade, complete with info cards detailing the make, model, and history of each machine.
Williams’ Rollergames dates to 1990. It was based on a short-lived TV show about roller derby, once slotted between Saturday morning cartoons and American Gladiators. The thing was cancelled by the time the machines hit the market, but they remain a token example of why game designer Steve Ritchie is considered a god among men in the arcade scene. (There’s a steep left ramp that requires skillful timing to make.)
Wondering how much pocket change you should bring? Machines are 50 cents a play and the restaurant is happy to break those Washingtons.
2315 St. Claude Ave., New Orleans, LA; 504-345-8886.