Paris By Pinball

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Forget wood-paneled basements and cheesy arcades – we’re gonna show you what pinball is all about, Parisian style.

What is it about pinball that we love so much? Maybe it’s how the chirping lights remind us of our favourite teammates yelling for attention? Or the way those noisy machines are always where we tend to congregate, like a lighthouse beacon for After Hours Athletes? Or perhaps it’s just the lazy joy of smacking a metal ball while having something sturdy to lean against?

Whatever the reason, it’s good to know there’s no shortage of pinball hotspots here in Paris when the call of the flippers proves too strong to resist. For a full-tilt night on the town, we recommend the following…

For our first stop, we always hit up Le Mauri7 (46, rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 75010), where the bright-red neon lettering both inside and outside the bar complements the raucous AC/DC pinball game perfectly. Fair warning: This place tends to get jammed, so sharpen your elbows if you want a turn. And when things get a little too close for comfort, we like to retreat to Le Plastic (13, rue Jean Beausire, 75004) and channel our inner Angus Young through another AC/DC pinball machine and a great selection of live music.


Once our rock ‘n pinball fix is satisfied, our next stop is just down the road at the Red House (1 bis, rue de la Forge Royale, 75012) for a dose of wild nature. This place is like a Texas saloon transported to the Bastille, and if the cattle horns behind the bar aren’t enough to get us in the frontier spirit, the Big Buck Hunter pinball always does the trick. If we’re lucky, we may even hear Paul – one of the regulars – do his famous “Fire! Fire!” scream once he unlocks the Big Buck bonus ball. Lucky for us, he knows how to share.

And since we’re already in the neighbourhood, our next stop is a no-brainer – the PUMA Social Club at Le Bar 114 (114, rue Oberkampf, 75011)! Here, we can soak up some great tunes and refuel before a final night cap at Le Bus Palladium (6, rue Fontaine, 75009), a shabby chic lounge which features live (and extremely loud) music almost every night of the week that somehow manages to drown out the racket of their vintage pinball machines.

Of course, that’s just how we roll as a team of pinball wizards in the city of light and love. Where are your favourite pinball spots in Paris? Let us know!

Photo courtesy of Jael Levi.