Pinball Garage doubles its size with expansion

Pinball Garage held a grand opening of its expansion, along with a huge party. They've doubled their size and added 30 more games and a dining area. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Combined ShapeCaption
Pinball Garage held a grand opening of its expansion, along with a huge party. They've doubled their size and added 30 more games and a dining area. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

The arcade-bar-restaurant added 30 more games and a dining area with expansion.

In typical Brad Baker fashion, he attributes the success of Pinball Garage to others who help him run the North Third Street establishment.

From his business partners to his son Bradley Baker, the general manager, to friends and employees, “Everyone makes this happen,” said Baker, the owner.

“I get a lot of the spotlight for it because I’m the owner, but as any business owner would know, it really has more to do with good people. I get all the credit for the good stuff, but they deserve most of the credit.”

Because of their work, Baker doubled the size of Pinball Garage’s space and added 30 more games, and a dining area.

Baker said the city ― from the city government to the chamber of commerce and the community at large ― has developed an atmosphere for small businesses like his to thrive.

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Jasmine Watkins, 11, and Dominic Watkins, 6, ride on a motorcycle game inside the new expansion at Pinball Garage. They've doubled their size and added 30 more games and a dining area. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Jasmine Watkins, 11, and Dominic Watkins, 6, ride on a motorcycle game inside the new expansion at Pinball Garage. They've doubled their size and added 30 more games and a dining area. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Combined ShapeCaption
Jasmine Watkins, 11, and Dominic Watkins, 6, ride on a motorcycle game inside the new expansion at Pinball Garage. They've doubled their size and added 30 more games and a dining area. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

“Hamilton’s been amazing to us,” he said. “We are here and expanded because of what Hamilton’s done for us with anything we’ve ever needed.”

He said people from the mayor and city manager on down check in on him, and other businesses, on a regular basis. “Cities don’t do that stuff,” Baker said.

Several city officials attended a ribbon cutting dedicating the expansion, including Mayor Pat Moeller, who thanked Baker for his initial investment when he opened VPcabs Virtual Panel, which produces virtual pinball machines, in 2018. Then Pinball Garage opened in 2020.

“You brought a bit more fun to this town,” said the mayor. “And thank you for being a caring person. I know you’ve used this facility to have fundraisers, you care about your fellow small business person.”

Baker first made a name for himself when he appeared on the television show “Shark Tank” in 2016, presenting his virtual pinball machine company, and landed a business partnership with Entrepreneur Daymond John.

Baker, Hamilton’s 2021 Citizen of the Year, has been one of the first to step up when there’s a charitable need, from helping out Hanover Reserves after that business experienced a devastating fire to hosting a car show fundraiser for Gavin Ward, a 16-year-old who later died from complications from DIPG, a rare brain cancer.

Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Dan Bates said this expansion asked, “What more can you ask for? It looks fabulous. Games, food, friendly conversation.”

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