MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A group of Twin Cities restaurateurs have come together to create a one of a kind bar in south Minneapolis combining their passion for pinball and love of locally brewed beers.
“Pinball is a passion and so is good local beer. So, I wanted to put those two things together,” said John Galvin, co-owner of Tilt in Minneapolis’ Whittier neighborhood.
The name of the bar Tilt comes from a mechanism inside each pinball game that warns a player against bumping or nudging the table in their favor.
“That’s one thing that hasn’t changed at all in pinball over the years. It’s still just a pendulum with a weight on the end of it,” described Galvin.
It took Galvin nearly four years to get to this point. It also took a lot of research to figure out exactly what they wanted to offer the Twin Cities pinball community.
“I’ve played pinball at a lot of places here locally in the Twin Cities, and across the country. I’ve been trying to gather different ideas from those places that I’ve liked and throw it all together into an awesome pinball location,” said Galvin.
Galvin also hired the help of local designer Rachel Kate of Rachel Kate Design. She’s a former HGTV contestant on DesignStar. She said when she started designing Tilt she was going for a basement vibe.
“I’ve done five or six other restaurants,” said Kate. “But this to me is an absolute dream… because I’m obsessed with pinball art.”
Kate helped design the bar top, which features six pinball playing fields that it illuminates. She also tried to incorporate black outlines around the bar that can be found in pinball art.
“It’s just a fun place to be,” said Kate.
And the food isn’t too shabby.
Karrie McCabe-Johnston and her husband Jasha Johnston are the other co-owners of Tilt. If their names sound familiar, it’s because they’re also the owners of Nightingale, a restaurant and lounge opened in 2012 in the same neighborhood.
“We’ve owned a home here for the last 15 years,” said McCabe Johnston. “So we’ve really seen how the neighborhood has grown and changed.”
Tilt’s menu features dips and chips, a few salads, but their specialty hot dogs are what stand out, one taste and it’s game over for any foodie.
“We’ve got a menu of eight different hot dogs,” said McCabe-Johnston. “Got one with kimchi, kewpie mayo and sesame seeds. One with roasted beech mushrooms, housemade sauerkraut, caraway beer mustard.”
The main feature of the bar is of course the games. As Galvin walked through the bar he pointed at one game someone was working on.
“That machine over there is from the late 50s. And then we’ve got some machines from the 70s, some machines form the 80s over there. And we’ve got a lot of presence from the ‘heydays’ the 90s,” said Galvin.
Tilt is located on East 26th Street and Stevens Avenue South in Minneapolis. They officially open Wednesday, April 19.