Five must-try games at the newly-opened Pinball Cafe
By Karolyne Ellacott
Calling all pinball wizards (Image: Karolyne Ellacott)
Owned by the aptly-named Jason and Rachel Hazzard, Parkdale’s newest café is devoted to the mighty pinball machine. After growing up on a pinball diet, it dawned on the adult Mr. Hazzard that “you can actually buy these things when you’re a grown up!” A collection ensued, and the next logical step was to open up The Pinball Cafe. Current fans include folks from the Toronto Pinball League in addition to champion player Sean O’Neill.
We popped in to get the rundown on Mr. Hazzard’s top pinball picks.
“The pinball community will probably get angry at me for this,” Hazzard notes, handing Supersonic the gold. Not particularly popular when it came out in 1979, this machine is in immaculate condition. It has a great skillshot and is a sentimental pick, being Hazzard’s first buy.
Hailing from 1986, this close second has a skillshot worth a million, which Hazzard loves. When a score is made, flashing lights go off and a voice taunts the player with, “hey, turkey!”
“It’s brand new. It’s big. It’s exhilarating," Hazzard says. “It’s just like being at a rock concert.” Anyone who gets a high enough score can win some AC/DC memorabilia courtesy of the café.
4. Black Knight
Created by Steve Ritchie — the same guy who just put out AC/DC — this 1980 game is known for its split-level playing field. Hazzard also points out the magna-save (its most famous attribute) that, at the press of a button, will prevent a player’s ball from plummeting into the outlane.
5. Eight Ball
“I love Eight Ball!” Hazzard declares. “It’s a classic. Goofy and difficult, it’s a nasty machine.” Currently holding the highest score, Hazzard notes it’s not too easy, and is often his final game of the night.
The Pinball Cafe, 1662 Queen St. W., 416-402-7932