The Montréal Pinball Arcade by Pinball Medics at 923 Girouard, a few minutes walk from the Vendôme Metro, is now open.
And beyond hosting the best collection of Classic Games in Montréal, a full day of incredible experiences await all who visit NDG, one of Central Montréal’s most culturally vibrant historic communities. From the small cafe’s, original restaurants that are Montréal icons, to the vintage clothing stores, there is something for everyone.
As the President of Pinball Medics, I had the pleasure of spending a Friday afternoon and evening exploring the various local businesses and experiences this beautiful community offers.
The trip began from my home base at Ottawa Pinball Medics, with my great friend Rob “Shoeman” Krantzberg, as we began the 2 hour journey to the heart of Montréal, where we exited Decarie at Sherbrooke, and navigated our way through NDG for a few minutes before arriving at 923 Girouard, home of our Montréal Pinball Medics facility and Arcade!
After unloading my personal Bally Eight Ball Deluxe, a permanent fixture at the Ottawa Pinball Arcade, for some service that can only be performed at our main repair and fabrication facility here in Montréal by Pinball Rob, we headed out for a stroll through the neighbourhood in search of a much needed meal, after a smooth drive featuring lively conversations, often revolving around the amazing dining options in Montréal. We were craving hamburgers, and a quick Google search turned up Notre Boeuf De Grâce.
What an incredible meal! Not only are the hamburgers made fresh, the high quality meat is ground fresh daily! This allows for the most mouth watering hamburger imaginable. Like a great steak, there was just the right amount of sizzle on the outside, and juicy fresh beefy goodness inside, offering a truly amazing culinary experience for even the most discerning hamburger aficionado. The small upgrade from what appeared to be incredible home cut fries to the Caesar salad was my choice, and I savoured every bite, This is a must stop and is now on my permanent list for future visits to our Montréal locale.
From there, we took a walk up and down Sherbrooke and explored some of the family owned and operated little shops, spoke with many of the owners, and picked up a few unique items of clothing at very reaonable prices.
The atmosphere would not be complete without a music store, and NDG has a really cool little shop, named after one of my personal fave artists of all time, Jimi Hendrix!
After a couple of hours, it was time for further refreshments, to people watch and absorb the warm ambience of the surroundings. We were in the mood for some real coffee, and hoping for a nice streetfront patio to enjoy the amazingly sunny early autumn afternoon, when we came upon the perfect spot at Pasta Casareccia. As authentic as it gets, we were not disappointed.
My latte was incredible, and despite having eaten a huge burger not much longer than an hour before, the Lemon Mousse with shaved white chocolate garnish was impossible to pass up, and was absolutely delicious. Their selection of fresh take home options was spectacular, and Rob grabbed an Arancini for later that night that looked out of this world, after being blown away by the home made deep fried stuffed Olive he opted for on the way out!
After exploring a little longer, it was finally time for the Grand Opening of the Arcade, so we headed back to greet the masses.
The action started right away as families of all ages began to materialize inside our Arcade, and it was hard to tell who was having more fun, the parents or their children! Many of the games were fixtures in all the Montreal Pinball & Amusement Halls in the heyday of the late 70’s and early 80’s, the Golden Era of the Arcade, and the inspiration for our living working museum and shrine to that magical time.
The positive vibes were heart warming, with the sound of children’s laughter and the warm words of appreciation from those old enough to remember those days gone by caressing my ears and lifting my spirit ever higher.
And the trip to Montréal to play Pinball was only made better when my Cousin Trevor showed up! The same Cousin I would visit as a child, who my Uncle would take with me from their home in Pointe-Claire to downtown Montréal to play many of the same games we have here at the Arcade! We were both lucky that his father and my other Uncle owned Pinball Machines since we were two or three years old, as soon as I was tall enough to see over the glass on a milk carton!
Naturally, Trev recognized and was immediately drawn to one of our old time faves, the very Eight Ball Deluxe I had just brought in from Ottawa!
And of course my friend Rob was drawn to one of most collectible and beautiful games in the room, the only game with an analogue delay, or “echo box” to guitar gear heads, on the Bally “Squawk & Talk” sound module featuring early 80’s synthesized speech; Centaur!
If I know Rob, he will be trying to pry this from our possession for his growing personal collection, which he curates with great care, choosing only the finest selections of pristine premium titles that reflect his childhood memories of the Arcades in Montréal he frequented growing up, the same arcades I would visit with my Cousin when I was in town back in the day. And no, it’s not for sale!
After enjoying the Games and a room full of Pinball Lovers Old & New, it was off to the home of the best Subs in Montréal; Momesso – caffé sportivo
For the third time that day, we were treated to home made from scratch food at it’s finest. My steak sub was nothing short of spectacular. Served with a knife and fork, this is a Sub that is to be savoured. Every bite overwhelmed my senses, with fresh cut and fried beef, onions, and peppers, topped with fresh shredded lettuce and the perfect sub sauce, on a fresh bun toasted to perfection, I could eat these every day.
Our visit lasted almost eight hours, and it flew by so fast it felt like no time at all.
We came for the Pinball, but we found so much more. Good friends, Family, Food & Drink, & Classic Pinball in the heart of Montréal in NDG.
Despite my responsibilities at our Ottawa locale, NDG is now on my list of Experiences I will be reliving on a regular basis as we continue to expand our presence in the very community I lived in for a couple of years after immigrating from the UK, where my younger brother was born! It truly is a magical place, with a resplendent history dating back generations, and now with the Montreal Pinball Arcade and the adjoining Pinball Medics facility as a reason to visit, and Family still living in the surrounding region, there is no way I will stay away for long!
We sincerely thank all those who shared our first day as an Arcade, and those who will be here in the future, and look forward to seeing everyone again very soon!
Mike Loftus – President of Pinball Medics