Location: 94 Middlesex Street, London, E1 7DA, UK. Telephone: 0207 377 6860
Report date: February 2013, updated December 2015, closed July 2016

Report by Richard Wade

See important update below

Oh how things change!

You may remember a review of Shorty's, Seattle, USA that I did a few years ago. Back then, you literally had to fly to the USA from London to find a cool bar which serves alcohol, food & still had more than a couple of pinballs.

But no more !

The Pipeline
The Pipeline

Nestling right between the City of London’s financial centre at Liverpool Street railway station and Petticoat Lane Market lies The Pipeline.

Inside The Pipeline
Inside The Pipeline

The first thing that comes to your attention as you enter is the large quantity of draught beers (and an extensive collection of Scotch whiskies just around the corner) along with a well-manned bar.

Part of The Pipeline's bar
Part of The Pipeline's bar

Let this not detract, however, from the pinball. Whilst I was there, all six machines were available for play. They all played rather well and I had no problem getting matches and replays through my scoring alone (and I am no professional player).

Games list:

  • Addams Family
  • Corvette
  • The Champion Pub
  • Stern Playboy
  • AC/DC
  • World Cup Soccer 94

The Addams Family, Corvette, The Champion Pub and Playboy
The Addams Family, Corvette, The Champion Pub and Playboy

AC/DC and World Cup Soccer
AC/DC and World Cup Soccer

Whilst I was there, Thomas - the owner - came over to say "Hello" (he is no stranger to local London pinball meets), and he was keen to challenge me to a game of AC/DC.

Thomas the owner having a play on his AC/DC Premium, which is available for public play (excellent!)
Thomas, the owner, having a game on his AC/DC Premium,
which is available for public play (excellent!)

After I had been soundly thrashed (of course, due solely to this not being my machine), Thomas then went on to answer queries from other pinball players who had questions about the other games.

His obvious enjoyment and close involvement in the day-to-day running of the bar was awesome.

Other than pinball, beer and whisky, this place's strengths also include freshly-cooked food, two pool tables, darts, an awesome Rock ‘n Roll jukebox (and punk too), quiz nights, and comedy & gigs in the basement.

One of the two pool tables
One of the two pool tables

There are two pool tables (one is next to a massive window overlooking a London street).  There is plenty of room around the pool tables to play, and the entire bar gives just as much of a spacious feeling.

Awesome jukebox, full of kick-arse rocking and punk tunes
Awesome jukebox, full of kick-arse rocking and punk tunes

London Pinball Tournament 2013

It seems that every cool pinball bar in the USA has it’s own unique tournament, therefore it is no surprise to find that The Pipeline is wasting no time in not only doing the same, but is making a weekend event of it too - with WPPR points to boot!

It's the new London Pinball Tournament 2013 which takes place at The Pipeline on the 23rd and 24th March. Click the link for more information.

The Pipeline opens at 11:30am during the week and 4pm on Saturday. Last orders are 11pm Monday/Tuesday and midnight Wednesday-Saturday. It is closed on Sunday.

UPDATE - December 2015 by John Friend

I visited the Pipeline Bar yesterday (30th December), and much fun was had.

The line up now consists of:

  • AC/DC
  • Jack•Bot
  • Judge Dredd
  • Spider-Man (off)
  • Star Trek: TNG (off)
  • Twilight Zone
  • World Cup Soccer

All of the machines that were on were in good working order, as far as I could tell.

UPDATE - August 2016

Sadly we have to report that the Pipeline Bar has now closed.

A cripling rent increase meant the owner had to close the business at the end of July 2016. With the Shoreditch Brewdog also removing all their pinball and video machines, the area is now lacking a decent location at which to play.

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