Mechanical Pins and 16-Bit Bar + Arcade opens in Ohio City

After construction delays and the COVID-19 pandemic, Columbus-based Rise Brands on Thursday, March 24 opened the doors to its 29,000-square-foot entrainment complex—featuring just about every type of gaming entertainment with both its 16-Bit Bar + Arcade and Pins Mechanical Company in the former Daniel’s Furniture buildings at 1880 W. 25th Street in Ohio City.

“It’s two separate experiences but in one combined [complex],” says Rise Brands founder Troy Allen. “They are side-by-side, in two store fronts, but they’re connected.”

Between Pins and 16-Bit Bar, the complex offers 12 duckpin bowling lanes, more than 50 pinball machines and classic arcade games, bocce ball courts, skeeball, bubble hockey, giant versions of Jenga and Connect 4, and even classic console games (like Atari 2600, Nintendo, and Sega), where teams of four can play classics like Mari Kart, Halo, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on big screen monitors. Duckpin leagues are planned for 2023.

Pins and 16-Bit together offer two stories of entertainment, three full-service bars, two patios, and plenty of indoor/outdoor event space. The facility is open to all ages until 8 pm, at which time it is open only to those 21 years old and older.

The original 16-Bit Bat + Arcade, which opened in Lakewood in 2015, closed last March to make way for the new, larger combined complex in Ohio City.

“We had always planned to bring Pins [to Northeast Ohio] eventually, and we were in construction pre-COVID, for two stand-alone [entities]Allen explains. “But with COVID delays in construction and the Lakewood closure, we found the abandoned Daniel’s Furniture building.”

The three bars offer local beers and ’80’s and ’90’s inspired craft cocktails like the Carrie Fisher (coconut rum, blueberry vodka, blue curacao, pineapple and lime juices, and rock candy), or the Cheech Marin (reposado tequila, lime juice, agave nectar, and orange zest with a salted rim). The bars also feature mocktails like the Optimus Prime (lemonade, cranberry juice, and sprite), and a variety of Slush Puppies (with or without alcohol).

The venue does not serve food, but Allen says guests are welcome to bring food in, order pizza, or order from one of the many food establishments nearby. “We drive so much traffic, it really benefits all businesses around us,” he says. “I know a lot of our neighbors are excited to have us.”

Allen says opening the new venue for multiple generations has proven to be a move that everyone enjoys. “What we’ve found is people will bring their kids, realize how much fun it is, and want to come back,” he says, adding that he grew up on some of the games offered. “The adults are rediscovering their childhood. But on the other hand, it’s so much fun for parent to come and introduce their kids to it. A new generation is discovering the old technology, while the older generation is going back and rediscovering these games.”

Most of the games are free to play, but the pinball machines cost $1 per game, and duckpin bowling is $6 per game.

Mechanical Pins and 16-Bit Bar + Arcade operate as cashless bars. Hours are Monday through Thursday; 4 pm to12:30 am; Friday, 4 pm to 2:30 am; Saturday, 12 pm to 2:30 am; and Sunday, 12 pm to 12:30 am

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