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Best Place to Play Pinball St. Louis 2010 - The Silver Ballroom

The Silver Ballroom

The Silver Ballroom

4701 Morganford Road

St. Louis, MO 63116


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Pinball, beards and tallboys: None of these things ever actually went out of style. Their popularity might wax and wane, but each one has always been considered cool to some degree. (The Who didn't write "Skee-Ball Wizard," for crying out loud.) And so Bevo's Silver Ballroom has built a legion of cools we'll call "flipsters," those south-city-dwelling, PBR-drinking, facial-hair-sporting, hard-rocking, pinball-playing men with impeccable taste. It's with more than a shot of good humor that this self-described Retox Center and its menu were constructed: Note the drinks called Slutbuckets and the Fat Bastard sammich. But it takes ballin' seriously, too: The bar boasts one of the Midwest's only new Iron Man games and plenty of classics, including Whirlwind and Lucky Lady. Like a perfectly launched shot from the plunger, the Silver Ballroom expertly racks up points — and scores extra for style.

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Hey, Arson, I'd just like to point out that CP Pinball won in 2008 and I don't believe the RFT usually awards the same place the same thing twice (however I could totally be wrong). However, I have to say that just because a place has more pinball machines than another place, doesn't necessarily mean it is the "Best Place to Play Pinball". I mean, several things should go into picking a winner - not just quantity - but overall atmosphere and ambiance as well. I have been to CP Pinball many times, and it is fun to go once in a while and play pinball for a couple of hours, but on a regular Friday night (or even Tuesday night) I'd prefer to go to the Silver Ballroom where I can get a drink and listen to some great music as well. Also, I think that the RFT means to pick the "Best Of" for the general population - so the "Best Place to Play Pinball" to a hardcore pinball player is not going to be the same as the "Best Place to Play Pinball" to the regular St. Louis citizen. So don't discount the Silver Ballroom for finally doing something for this town that has needed to be done for years. They deserve to be recognized for it.

Arson Smith
Arson Smith

(Sorry, there really were meant to be spacings ad paragraph breaks in that previous post, but those were stripped out for some reason during the "submit" process...?)

Also - as to the comment "whether or not it's even in the St Louis metro area is debatable", please look closer and see the numerous awards that the RFT gave this year for businesses in Alton, Caseyville, Collinsville, Edwardsville, Grafton, Hartford, Marine, Red Bud, and even Murphysboro(?!) in Illinois. So there is clearly no issue or debate whatsoever for including South Roxana (which is both south of Alton, and west of Edwardsville) -

Arson Smith
Arson Smith

In all seriousness then, maybe the RFT needs to do a re-think and file this under "Sports & Recreation" or some other category instead... but at any rate, the title reads as "Best Place to Play Pinball", not "Best Place to Play Pinball While Having a Bar/Tavern Experience" (or whatever).

Regardless of arbitrary categories, or nitpicking about regional boundaries, anyone who has been to both places knows in their heart which is truly the "Best Place to Play Pinball" around here.

No disrespect intended toward Silver Ballroom, but this is still a pretty hard slap in the face to CP Pinball. (The fact that Silver Ballroom is even planning a "field trip" to head over to CP Pinball tells me that THEY know what the real score is... salut!)

Can you imagine if someone were doing a Las Vegas "Best Of", and they chose a bar with a handful of pinball machines in it over the Pinball Hall of Fame located out there...? Well, honestly, this is about as serious an error as that would be... (or kind of like that year when Jethro Tull beat out Metallica for the Grammy for 'Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal or Instrument '... but I digress...)

Silver Ballroom is a cool bar that happens to have a dozen or so pinball machines, which is a VERY cool thing, don't get me wrong...

But CP Pinball is really 100% about PINBALL and nothing else... they rule, absolutely, in number of machines (50/60+? I lose count... and that is not a stagnant pool of machines... there are always new ones being added...), then factor in their tireless dedication to ultra-obsessive maintenance on all of those machines.

Additionally, CP Pinball is active in the overall international pinball community, running semi-annual tournaments where players can earn points toward their World Pinball Player Rankings.

Don't understand one of the games? Chuck will gladly walk you through it and explain, in detail, the rules, strategies, things to watch out for... he knows every one of those machines inside and out because they are his personal machines, and he performs the majority (if not all) of the maintenance on them (as opposed to being serviced by a company that leases or rents the machines to an establishment).

And again, the "bang for the buck" - $10 flat for up to six hours of free play on all those machines... again, no disrespect towards Silver Ballroom (as they are understandably in business primarily as a bar/tavern), but $10 will only get you so many plays there on a far more limited number of machines.

I mean it's not even close.


The category is "bars and clubs". CP Pinball is neither a bar or a club, and whether or not it's even in the St Louis metro area is debatable. The Silver Ballroom is organizing a shuttle to CP Pinball in October, though, so maybe you might want to get on that.

Arson Smith
Arson Smith

Are you people on drugs?! Silver Ballroom is a very nice place and all, but certainly not the 'Best Place to Play Pinball'... sorry, but that honor rightfully goes to CP Pinball!!! Come on, now! Silver Ballroom has maybe like 1/10th of the machines that Chuck has over at CP... and $10 flat gets you free play for up to SIX HOURS. This decision is completely insane... but then last year you guys gave the honor to 'Apop Records' which made even less sense! (no offense meant to Apop Records, either... very cool record store, but in no way were they 'Best Place to Play Pinball' either...) AAAGGGHHH!!!


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