For those who have fond memories of youths spent in arcades, House of Targ is a mecca. Its hallowed halls ring with nostalgic echoes, the pings and bloops of high scores past. And if the addition of perogies seems out of place in an punk-themed arcade, that’s probably because you haven’t tried them yet. All of the elements of House of Targ come together to create a truly unique experience, one that enticed rum company Sailor Jerry to feature Targ as the best place to play pinball in the world.
And, as if you needed another reason to go, Ottawa Showbox, Apt613 and Ottawa Punk Pinball are hosting a pinball tournament at Targ as part of Support Local month. The Support Local Pinball Tournament & Perogie Party takes place from 6pm to 10pm on Wednesday October 28th, and is open to players of all skill levels. Amateurs are very much welcome at this tournament.
“It’s going to be the kind of thing where you can just walk in and put your coins in,” said Matías Muñoz, Ottawa Showbox founder. “And if you haven’t played before, you might not win the tournament, but you can still say you tried your hand at it.”
The style of the tournament is simple and welcoming. There is no cover. Instead, between 7pm and 10pm, one pinball machine will be open to free play at a price of $5 for two games. At the end of the night, the four players that got the highest scores on that machine will face off in a final matchup to determine the winner.
The winner will receive a cash prize, the pot of the tournament. There will also be prizes in the form of gift certificates courtesy of House of Targ, Vertigo Records, and more to be announced.
Until recently, the pinball machine upon which the games will be played has been shrouded in secrecy. However, we can now confirm that the machine used will be KISS, graciously supplied by Ottawapinball.com. KISS will be off limits to non-tournament participants, so if you want to try your hand at it, you’ll have to play.
The tournament is a bit of a departure for Ottawa Showbox founder Muñoz. Used to promoting concerts, this is the first time Showbox has put on anything like this, and it so happens to be Muñoz’s first pinball tournament. However, Muñoz remains confident that it is within his wheelhouse.
“We thought about bringing bands in, but we really want to keep the focus on pinball, having fun, and eating perogies,” he said. “As a first experience for me, it’s kind of fun never having been involved in anything like this and just diving in head first.”
As a relative newbie to the scene, Muñoz enlisted the help of Adam Montgomery of Ottawa Punk Pinball to help him design the tournament. On his advice, Muñoz eschewed a bracketed style in favour of a score chase format.
“It’s kind of a laid back format,” said Muñoz. “It’s not like you have to get there for a specific time and it avoids and mishaps with getting delayed with time and getting backed up.”
And, in keeping with Ottawa Showbox’s style, there will be a musical component to the night. Muñoz will be DJing the night along with Eric Scharf, Senior Writer at Ottawa Showbox. They’ll be bringing their extensive record collections to Targ and spinning vinyl all night long.
And of course, even if you don’t want to play in the tournament, there’s still plenty of reason to head down and watch. The atmosphere, the music, and the drinks—not to mention the perogies—will make the Support Local Pinball Tournament & Perogie Party a thing to behold.
The Support Local Pinball Tournament & Perogie Party takes place on Wednesday October 28th from 6pm to 10pm. There is no cover. The cost of competing is $5 for two plays. For more info, see the Facebook event page.