Life Lesson: When the Great Pinball Machine of Life sends your ball sliding down a side gutter, that doesn’t mean Game Over. Instead, you take a deep breath, load a new ball into the plunger, and play again.
Thats the lesson Neighbors Christian and Elisabeth seem to have drawn from their effort to open Skillshot Pinball at 1000 Cortland Avenue, in the former Cutting Edge Salon space. After all the fuss, fear, and befouling bureaucracy, Neighbors Christian and Elizabeth have decided to seek a more friction-free location on Cortland for Skillshot Pinball — and perhaps one with a kitchen attached too.
Skillshot’s latest newsletter says:
We recently came to a somber decision. We’ve decided to no longer pursue 1000 Cortland (formerly Cutting Edge Salon) as a location for the pinball. You’re probably aware of the protestations of some of the tenants of the building and their pledge to challenge all the permits we would need to acquire along the way in building out the space and opening. We did meet with them and tried our hardest to explain our vision and reassure them of the steps we would take to mitigate any impact on their tenancy. Throughout that process we also discovered that to bring the space up to code because of how large it is we would have to make some costly renovations (egress doors would have to swing outward and therefore be inset in the structure; fire abatement also installed). The cost of installing the plumbing for the beer and kitchen sinks would be also be quite high while not allowing for much flexibility in food options since we wouldn’t have a hood. When you add up the amount of time it would have taken to get through the protests and renovate we were looking at a 1.5 year timeline. In addition, the city’s alcohol advisory panel signaled it would probably recommend not issuing our permit, even though we hadn’t yet presented our case to them. Sadly, renovation costs and the rising probability of losing the beer permit felt like too big of a financial gamble for the little pinhall we had envisioned.
The good news is that we are not letting the dream go and will march on with the goal of opening this pinhall in Bernal Heights and on Cortland Ave. We’ve also resolved to have a bit more of a food program to generate more attraction, and based on feedback from the community we will aim for a beer and wine license instead of just beer. We’ve just begun negotiations to buy-out a restaurant, though out of respect for the owner’s privacy will not name that restaurant. But a restaurant would allow us to do fuller meals which is very exciting.
PHOTO:: Side gutter of a 1964 Williams “San Francisco” pinball machine, by Telstar Logistics