In recent years, Long Island has seen a resurgence of things from the past, like retro arcade eateries, gaming stores and '90s-themed bars. Adding to that growing landscape of nostalgia is Pinball Long Island, a new, 5,000-square-foot space dedicated to the game in Patchogue.
For half his life, owner Joshua Guskin, 40, had been “buying, selling, restoring and fixing” arcade games as a hobby, one that he says stems from family vacations to Lake George where he’d spend time at the arcades. “That was kind of where my love was really found, at a very, very early age,” he says, adding that as he got older, he was able to dabble into the mechanics of the game.
A LOOK INSIDE PINBALL LONG ISLAND
At Pinball Long Island, gamers can expect about 100 machines that span from the 1960s (electromechanical machines) to today (solid state), the difference being the mechanics behind them. The former is wired by a mechanical process; the latter by computer-driven technology. Guskin calls them “functional pieces of art” and “immersive,” saying his machines depict music, comic books, movies and more.
Rachel Bolanski, 25, of Patchogue, says she went to Pinball Long Island on opening weekend in March to "escape the cold," and thought it was "really cool" to be able to pay $20 and play an unlimited number of games.
She spent about an hour there and tried eight games, including "Star Wars," "The Simpsons," "Indiana Jones" and Mario-themed games.
“You’re never going to get the same experience on one game,” Guskin says. “There’s so much going on” within a single pinball machine.
Bolanski says for her next visit, she would go with friends for a more competitive edge.
Declan Campbell, 11, also of Patchogue, calls Pinball "fun" and "cool," adding that he was excited to try it because "it’s something new."
While Pinball Long Island doesn’t offer food or drink, Guskin points out that Patchogue is saturated with bars and restaurants. Instead, he’s more focused on bringing a space to the area where all age groups are welcome.
Pinball Long Island
WHEN | WHERE: 48 W. Main St. in Patchogue; Open 2 to 10 p.m. daily; may stay open later on weekends.
ADMISSION: $20 per adult; $10 for children 10 and younger