Dec 17, 2019 - Food and Drink

Pins Mechanical Company and 16-Bit Bar+Arcade opening December 19 in South End

Pins Mechanical Company and 16-Bit Bar+Arcade will officially open on Thursday, December 19 in South End.

The sprawling 23,000-square-foot dual-branded facility features two indoor bars with 36 taps each, a rooftop bar with 24 taps and skyline views, four fire pits, and a stacked lineup of patio games, retro arcades, and duckpin bowling.

It’s located at 307 W Tremont Ave. near Common Market.

Duckpin bowling
Main bar in Pins Mechanical
Main bar in 16-Bit
View from rooftop bar
Fire pit and patio pong
Giant Lite-Brite (really works)
Carrie Fisher and Lisa Frank cocktails ($10)
The Baller ($14)
The bathrooms have coed sink stations.
Clever neon signage
All arcades are set to free play
Follow the rules

Game inventory: 12 duckpin bowling lanes, 20 pinball machines, 30+ arcade cabinets, two pong consoles, two Jenga sets, two patio pings, two giant connect 4s, two foosball tables, bocce ball, ping pong table and a giant lite-bright. A console wall on the 16-Bit side features a lineup of classic Nintendo and Sega games. They’ve also got private event space and you can do a full buy-out if you’re throwing a huge event.

Activity pricing: Duckpin bowling is $6/game/person (no bowling shoes required), ping pong and bocce are $6/half hour or $10/hour, pinball and foosball are 50 cents/game, and everything else is free.

Free play: All arcades are set to free play. If you drop quarters in out of habit, they’re donated to a selected charity as part of the company’s “Quarters for a Cause” program. Rogue quarters are currently benfitting Extra Life.

Drinks: The drink menu features a playful lineup of boozy Slush Puppies, candy-laced cocktails, large-format punch bowls, and novelty souvenir glassware. All specialty cocktails are $10, punches are $35 (serves 4-6 people) and drinks in souvenir glasses are $14-$16.

  • Souvenir cocktails ($14-$16): The Baller (20oz drink with 6 liquors, lemonade, fruit punch and Sprite) and Game Over (25oz drink with 8 liquors, Sprite, lemonade and Hawaiian Punch)
  • Punches ($35) – Pins Pasion Punch (peach vodka, coconut rum, pineapple juice, lime juice, grenadine, Sprite) and Winter Sangria (red wine, cinnamon rum, lemon juice, pomegranate juice, fresh mint)
  • Old school cocktails ($10) – Pinball Wizard (blueberry vodka, elderflower, ginger ale, blueberries), pomegranate mule (vodka, pomegranate sour, ginger beer), Jingle Balls (moonshine, apple puree, cinnamon syrup), Spare Pear (bourbon, pear syrup, lemon, Sprite), Sleigh All Day (cherry vodka, lemon, pomegranate syrup, Sprite)
  • Retro cocktails ($10) – Hulk Hogan (blueberry vodka, lemonade, Bomb Pop), Carrie Fisher (coconut rum, blueberry vodka, blue curacao, pineapple juice, lime juice, rock candy), The Dude (vanilla vodka, Kahlua, Rumchata, chocolate bitters), Lisa Frank (vodka, fruit punch, Sprite, Watermelon Pucker, pineapple rum, Airhead rainbow sour belt), Kevin Bacon (maple bourbon, ginger ale, real bacon jerky)

Dogs and kids: Because there’s no kitchen on site, Pins is dog friendly inside and out. And it’s family friendly, too. All ages are welcome before 8 p.m. After that it’s 21 and up.

Background: Pins Mechanical Company is a a popular social house and 16-Bit Bar+Arcade has pretty much every classic arcade game from the 80s & 90s. Both are micro-chains with locations in Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dublin, Nashville and Indianapolis. Rise Brands, the parent company, develops the concepts next to each other. The dual branding really only matters to the owners. From a customer’s point of view, the merged Charlotte location is just one giant bar.

Why it matters: This will enhance the nightlife scene in South End (it’s walkable from Sycamore, Barcelona, Superica, Jeni’s and Hawkers) and further positions Tremont as a booming street in Charlotte. Given that both are proven concepts and Rise Brands is an experienced operator, I expect Pins Mechanical Company and 16-Bit Bar+Arcade get off to a hot start and do very well.


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