The pinball machines will always be in working order at Tilt.
That’s because co-owner John Galvin, opening Tilt in partnership with the owners of Nightingale, runs a pinball business. Between the long play times, the steel balls, the shaking machines and the carbon dust, he finds plenty to clean and fix.
“Part of the fun is to fix stuff,” said Galvin, who recently took apart the drop target assembly on an Indiana Jones game. “The art of the game is to shake it, but not too much.”
He provides machines for venues like Mortimer’s, which is where he met longtime bartender Jasha Johnston and his wife Carrie McCabe-Johnston.
A pinball bar was their dream on the backburner until Jasha and Carrie’s high school friends — the co-founders of CPM Development — asked if they knew anyone who might lease space at their new apartments in Whittier.
The bar will feature about 20 rotating machines, with a design that incorporates pinball graphics and flavors of the 70s. The games will range from classics like Twilight Zone and Addams Family to new machines just in from the manufacturer.
Johnston said people under 21 would be welcome until 9 p.m. — his kids are lobbying for a basketball shooting game.
On the menu, Peterson’s beef hot dogs would feature toppings like house-made kraut and kimchi, with ingredients from local farmers in the summer. All the taps would hail from Minnesota, and they’re creating cocktails with names like Spinner and Jackpot. The owners are also prospecting canned wines (one option is from the winery of Francis Ford Coppola).
Tilt is slated to open in April.