by Andrew Van Heusden
Calling all pinball wizards: The Craftcade, a pinball arcade bar taking patrons back to their childhood, is expected to open in the Near Southside mid-February.
The 27,000-square-foot space will be located at 615 South Jennings Ave., which was last occupied by The Last Word Bookstore. The Craftcade will start with 35 pinball machines, including The Addams Family, Creature from The Black Lagoon, and The Champion Pub, says Calvin Shelby, who owns the bar with his wife Jenni. Shelby says he is looking forward to having a new five-player game, Killer Queen, as well. The bar will also feature classic arcade games such as Galaga and Pac-Man.
Food will not be provided, but Shelby says there will be 10 signature drinks, 16 local craft beers, and plenty of bottle beer options. No menu has been released yet.
Shelby, whose family has been in the vending business for decades, owns a warehouse in Fort Worth that holds 60 pinball machines and over 200 arcade games — some of which will be featured in the new bar. He says the bar will be very similar to something one would see in Chicago.
“I just really want to create an experience that you can’t find elsewhere here,” he says. “There is a couple other local places that do the whole arcade bar here, but not to the extent of a Chicago-style arcade bar.”
Shelby says it will cost to play pinball and arcade games, but games will be free the last Sunday of every month.