Best Pinball Machine Lineup at a Music Venue

Bottom Lounge

Critics' Picks

It's nice to at least have the option of escape when attending a show with less-than-desirable opening bands (or headliners, for that matter). The cavernous Bottom Lounge not only offers one of the city's best patios—with a nice near-west view of downtown and the illustrious Green Line—but the second floor's Volcano Room boasts a row of six pinball machines (plus, there's Bobby Orr Power Play on the first floor). Included are the Addams Family, Creature From the Black Lagoon, Gilligan's Island, and Champion Pub, which is quite possibly the best pinball game on the planet; in addition to fighting a rough-and-tough, grizzled bare-knuckler, you train by jumping rope with your ball and nailing away at a speed bag with the machine's flippers. Similar to bowling, pinball is mastered by discovering the perfect degree of drunk—usually just past buzzed but well before dizzy—and settling in at a machine as the edge wears off. Therefore Bottom Lounge's extensive (albeit pricey) beer selection should be put to good use. Pinball is free on Thursdays.