If you visited North Star Pinball on their grand opening night, you would’ve been transported back to the era of poodle skirts, roller skates, and jukeboxes. The main theme and attraction at North Star is what you’d guess, the pinball machine. And this bar carries an array of these clinking hypnotizing games surrounded by retro themed decor. You would have never guessed that a ban on pinball machines in bars was in effect with vintage machines from the ’50s through ’80s lining the walls.
Keeping with the theme, nostalgic music fills the one-room bar as pinball themed movies play on a screen in the corner of the venue. If you’ve lost your luck with the metal balls, this corner offers cafe style seating next to a window overlooking Saint-Laurent.
North Star’s bar menu is simple enough to be posted on a couple chalkboards for beer and cocktails with two easy categories: “L’expensive Shit” and “Le Cheap Shit”.
Their bar menu keeps the simplistic vibe offering snacks like crackers, pickled eggs, and beef jerky.
If you’re on a budget, for fifteen dollars you’ll be able to get yourself a pint of Rolling Rock, some seasoned nuts, and a couple games of pinball (they’re one dollar per game).
A bargoer mentioned that for a place with secondary income they could probably make their menu prices a little cheaper, but the menu seems fair considering the time and money it can take to restore and refurbish the vintage machines.
10 p.m. on grand opening night didn’t seem to be much different than any other night at North Star Pinball. The bar was busy, but there was still enough space for you to squeeze in on a few games of pinball.
It does seem like they have a few more kinks to work out as bar goer Robert David expressed his concern when a bartender gave incorrect advice for purchasing coins to play the machines.
But I think we can forgive them for taking a stand against an outdated law, doing some lobbying and bringing pinball back into Montreal bars.
North Star Pinball is located in the Plateau at 3908 St-Laurent and is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., Thursdays and Fridays 5 p.m. to 3 a.m., Saturdays 1 p.m. to 3 a.m. and Sundays 1 p.m. to 1 a.m.