Monday, September 8, 2014


Earlier in the year, I heard some rumblings of a pinball resurgence in Ottawa. I made my first venture up north to our Nation's Great Capital back in September 2013 for the Ottawa Pinball Expo and although I did not see many pinball machines out in the wild while I was in Ottawa, I got to see firsthand the strong following of pinball in the area. Several months later, I started hearing that a bar was opening up in Ottawa that would have not one, not two, not even three pinball machines...
but a whole bunch of pinball machines!! This mecca of pinball was to be named The House of TARG after the classic arcade game, TARG.

The House of TARG has been open for a couple of months now and my buddy Penstone, who lives in the Ottawa-Gatineau area, checked it out back in May. Here is what he had to say "OK... Come to Ottawa is all I have to say... goddamn." So my brother Shane and I planned a trip to Ottawa in July in order to hunt down this amazing bar. Lemme tell you... The House of TARG is amazing. Wall-to-wall lineups of pinball and arcade games, lotsa beer, live music, and perogies! The two main features of The House of TARG are pinball and perogies, with a large variety of pinball, everything from classic Bally/Williams tables...
... A couple of DATA EAST releases...
Even a few Sega machines which is not a common sight!
Of course, there are a few Sterns there too, like Star Trek.
Even the Rollergames from my first Ottawa Pinball Expo post was there!

But sadly, it was pretty beaten up and got turned off later into the night... Anyways, enough sad news, that is not what I'm here to talk about! I'm here to talk about The House of TARG. It's a real neat place and something that Penstone said Ottawa really needed. The House of TARG is not just about pinball and perogies, it is also a music venue. From what it sounds like, Ottawa's got a pretty happenin' music scene, like my BIG FAVs The Reverb Syndicate, but it doesn't seem like there are a lot of dedicated music venues in the city. The House of TARG offers a locale for many Ottawa bands to get their sound heard, whether they are just starting out or if they have been playing gigs for years. How can you go wrong with live music and pinball?
The thing with Ottawa, or at least in my experience, is that there are an awful lot of pubs... nothing wrong with that, mind you, but sometimes, you just gotta go to some grungy dive bar in the basement of a travel agency or a furniture store... at least, that's how I feel! We have Unlovable here in Toronto that fits the bill but Ottawa needed a place like that and The House of TARG scratches that itch for sure! The moment you step through the doors, you make your way downstairs to a wide-open basement that feels sorta like a dungeon illuminated only the lights of the pinball machines. Not only that, but when your order of perogies are ready, a booming voice comes over the PA system... "DERK, YOU PATHETIC EXCUSE FOR A HUMAN BEING... YOUR PEROGIES ARE READDDDDY!" My kinda place!

The House of TARG has one helluva line-up and so I got my work cut out for me when it comes to reviews. Stay tuned in to Bright Lights Bumper City to catch a few rare reviews! Here's some pix to tide you over.
How many ongoing trip reports do I have now? There's the Michigan Pinball Expo, Ottawa Pinball Expo, Guelph Pinball Club and now The House of TARG! HOLY MOLEY! Am I ever going to return to Toronto?! Of course! I just released my review of Harley Davidson which came by the city for a cup of coffee. I always have a few reviews up my sleeve so keep yer eyes peeled.

UPDATE: Hope you kept those peepers peeled because my House of TARG reviews have appeared!

PART I is all about Sega. I take a look at some very underrated pinball tables, Independence Day and Baywatch!

In PART II, I review another underrated table, this time from Williams. The table of this post is Fish Tales!

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