Rise Brands, good folks behind the successful 16-bit Bar & Arcade franchise in the Buckeye State of Ohio are back at it again. PINS, a new concept opened the weekend of September 13. Located down the road from their original 16-bit location at 141 North Fourth Street, Pins Mechanical Company reaches back further into yesteryear for an even more retro style than the love-for-the-80s kitschy feel of 16-bit.
Rather than digitized exploits of pixels, here the focus is on the physical. Rows of pinball machines line the spacious social areas around the bar and elsewhere in the 16,000 sq ft facility. Two outdoor patios feature games like shuffleboard and giant Jenga.
Rather than complicate operations with a standard kitchen, food trucks supply a variety of fare for the hungry consumer.
But perhaps the most interesting twist is the duckpin bowling alley. For the unfamiliar, duckpin bowling is similar to more conventional 10-pin bowling, but with balls that are 4-3/4 in (12 cm) to 5 in (12.7 cm) in diameter (slightly larger than a softball), weigh 3 lb 6 oz (1.5 kg) to 3 lb 12 oz (1.7 kg) each, and lack finger holes. The pins are smaller, shorter, and squatter.
The effect in essence, is as if someone zapped an ordinary bowling alley with a shrink ray. The upside, is that more lanes can be crammed into a much smaller space, accommodating many more parties at once. Perhaps exactly the sort of thinking that made founder Troy Allen’s other endeavours so successful.
The other benefit of having multiple bars, patios, and segments in a much larger space is that unlike 16-bit, Pins Mechanical Company can accommodate large private events without shuttering the doors to the general public.
The establishment adds even more destination value to Columbus’ revitalized Fourth Street, which thanks to Rise Brands’ original enterprise, has undergone a full blown renaissance.