“Basically, my boyfriend and I fell in love with pinball and started collecting machines, and we ran out of room for them,” said Mara Kline, when asked of the origins of the plan to open Kickback.
Featuring their collection of 12 pinball machines, Kickback will operate as a new pinball-themed coffee shop opening May 4 on Butler Street in Lawrenceville in what I feel confident in saying will be the only business of its kind in Pittsburgh, if not the tri-state area.
Kline and boyfriend Joe Veltri, owner of The Gallery 4 in Shadyside, are going beyond just storing their machines in a Lawrenceville storefront.
Kickback will feature design elements that include a floor themed on pinball by local artist Brian Holderman, who has designed his own customized pinball machines in the past.
Along with the action of ricocheting pinballs, patrons will be able to get their own bounce of caffeine from French Press coffee by Kiva Han, along with soups, panini and other light snacks.
For those inclined toward cafe society-type activities such as reading, studying or sharing quiet conversation, fear not, suggested Kline. The pinball machines will be located on a mezzanine level of the shop, allowing some level of quiet for patrons.
Pinball lovers, on the other hand, will find a host of machines such as The Bride of Pinbot, The Addams Family, NBA Fastbreak and others from the 1950s through today.