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Skeeball and Pinball Lounge Coming Soon to Maplewood

Orbit will open soon at the corner of Sutton Boulevard and Hazel Avenue. Owner Michael Stivers hopes to get some competitive skeeball leagues going.

Maplewood is already known as a place to go for a great meal. Now a new Sutton Boulevard business featuring pinball and skeeball as main attractions will be the place to go for a good time.

Michael Stivers is the owner of Orbit Pinball Lounge, which should open in about three weeks. He said the number of places people can go to do something is shrinking. The business meeting last May.

“The goal is to get people off their phones and actually talking to other people,” he said. “It’s 21 and over, so it’s more of an adult–orientated place.”

There is something about a pinball machine that can’t be replicated on a computer, he said.

“The machine is shaking, the ball is flying around, lights are flashing, hearing the sounds. There’s just something a lot different than what you get from a video game,” he said.

Stivers has 10 pinball machines and three skeeball lanes in Orbit. He hopes people who remember playing skeeball—in arcades, at the Lake of the Ozarks, in amusement parks—will be drawn in. He’s planning on weekly competitive skeeball leagues as well as casual gaming for people looking to do something fun and different.

Skeeball is easy to understand, he said.

“Pinball rules can be complicated,” he said, “but with skeeball, roll nine balls and get the highest score you can,” he said. “I can’t think of many games that are more simple.”

As for leagues: “They’ll see the same people, develop rivalries between teams,” he said. “It’s an icebreaker, a way for people to network and meet each other. We’re hoping it turns into more of a social thing.”

He found the skeeball lanes on eBay and hauled them to Maplewood in a trailer. They’re cleaned up and ready to go.

His pinball machines came from Kansas City; Chicago; Nashville; Arkansas; South Roxana, IL; and the St. Louis area. He said they have some battle scars. There’s a strong pinball community in St. Louis, Stivers said, so when one breaks, he can easily find help if he can’t fix it himself.

His first machine was “Jurassic Park,” and he is saving up for a “Hobbit” game set to be released soon. It will be the first new game he’s owned.

With the focus on games, food and drinks will be minimal at the start. Orbit will serve Dogtown Pizza and Billy Goat Chips. You won’t find the newest vodka at the bar, he said.

“We’re trying to use local small startup businesses,” he said of the food. “It fits in with our theme.”

Even though the game technology is not the newest, Stivers hopes it will be new to some.

“I think once people play, you get hooked on it,” he said.

Michael Stivers March 06, 2012 at 09:15 PM
I am the owner of Orbit Pinball Lounge. I am sorry to those of you with children about not being able to bring them here. My conditional use permit for my liquor license states that all patron and staff must be 21 or older. There were some initial concerns about the mix of alcohol, games and children, so we are only going to be open for adults. If you would like to take your kids to a great place to play pinball I would suggest CP Pinball just across the river. Chuck has about 80 excellent machines and he is opening on Sunday just for families. Sorry to disappoint some of you, but these are the rules I must work with to have the opportunity to open a place in the city of Maplewood. Hope that all of you will still stop in to check us out even if you have to leave the little ones at home for a evening. If you ever want to talk with me I am at the location on and off most everyday trying to get things wrapped up. Always willing to talk or show people around before we open. Thanks for your understanding. Michael Stivers
scot March 06, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Michael, Thanks for clearing up the information. Your message explained everything. Good Luck with the business, and I for one will be down to see you.
Josh March 07, 2012 at 12:06 PM
I'll echo Scot's comment, good luck Michael. Orbit will be yet another establishment that makes Maplewood a unique destination. I hope people from all over the St. Louis area come to your bar to have some fun in Maplewood.
Stephanie Shepard March 07, 2012 at 03:40 PM
I completely agree, Roger! I'm excited that it's adults only.
Michelle March 29, 2012 at 04:15 AM
Hey Michael, I've been eyeballing this unique little spot eagerly waiting for an open sign to appear in the window! I'm really digging the idea of the flair this will add to Maplewood as I've lived in the area for almost 10 years. I'm excited about the fun times my friends and I will have coming in to play there but would also love a chance to work there! If your looking for a sassy chick to help serve up slices of yummy pizza, pour tasty beverages, and dish out quarters for the pinball machines I'm your girl! Email me if your interested and I'll drop off my resume! Michelle michelle.lee.jarvis@gmail.com

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