First Take: Pinstack in Plano

A playground facility that houses more than 20 lanes for bowling, a restaurant, two bars, an arcade, laser tag, bumper cars, and a ropes course.

With 50,000 square feet of playground for adults, children, and pretty much any form of human being, Pinstack is equipped for fun. What is Pinstack, you ask? It’s a behemoth, playground facility that houses more than 20 lanes for bowling, a restaurant, two bars, an arcade, laser tag, bumper cars, and a damn ropes course that’s actually above the arcade. It’s literally on top of it. You will push your rope-grappling body to the test within 10 feet of young and old men making records on the Transformers game (it’s the only one in existence). This is only the beginning.

Bumper cars at Pinstack. Photo by Matthew Shelley.
Bumper cars at Pinstack. Photo by Matthew Shelley.

So yesterday the folks from Pinstack hosted a media luncheon that included a tour of the facilities. I’m hiding in the laser tag arena while writing this because I never want to leave and I never want to grow up. But seriously, there is a lot to do here. The restaurant has an approachable, well-executed menu. Items like Macaroni and Cheese pops, which are balls of macaroni and cheese in a fried, spherical shell. There are also mainstay classics like a burger, pizzas, chicken, steak, and salmon which all complement the onslaught of activity that will follow the meal. So go ahead and get the burger and the red velvet cake. You’ll work it off in the ropes course.

Photo by Matthew Shelley.
Photo by Matthew Shelley.

Each area of the facility is accessible yet separate from each other. The dining room is quiet and isolated. The bowling alley feels like its own space and there’s even a VIP bowling area where kids are not allowed after 10 p.m. Let it flow. The VIP area itself is open for reservation and has its own eight lanes, and plenty of party space. So what else is there? Not in the sense of life and existence. Stay focused here. We’re talking about good old fashioned getting down on the hottest arcade console this side of the equator. There’s also a private dining room that houses up to 40 people, the restaurant holds up to 140, there’s a patio with a fire pit, ten local beers on tap, loads of wine, spirits, and a coffee and dessert bar for goodness sake.

The whole hog pizza. Photo by Matthew Shelley.
The whole hog pizza. Photo by Matthew Shelley.

Basically there’s nothing missing except maybe Kathy Ireland and my favorite parlor game, the hatchet throw. Other than that, the team behind this place is organized, experienced and so logistically sound that it hurts my brain to understand the calculations that went into coordinating this monster. When you walk into the expansive entry, you’ll be greeted by a well groomed staff with friendly faces, and a welcoming warmth. And since I know you’re wondering, the lanes are $18 an hour on weekdays, and $34 per hour on weekends. All the food from the restaurant is available at the lanes, and I know there is a great deal more that will entice you, but surprise is one of the best parts. Get out and do it. Now.

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