Marietta Melt Yard transforms into a pinball playground

The nostalgic comfort food spot adds an arcade, launching March 1

The arcade features 14 pinball machines.

Photo by Matt DeBusschere

Arcades are once again having a bit of a moment in metro Atlanta. In addition to mainstays like Joystick on Edgewood Avenue and My Parents’ Basement in Avondale Estates, eatertainment venue Your 3rd Spot offers Tetris, Captain America, and Madden games in the Works on the Westside. The recently opened Tin Pin Game Bar features 10 pinball machines in the Avenue at East Cobb, and now nostalgic comfort food restaurant Marietta Melt Yard is transforming its private dining room into a ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s arcade.

The 7,000-square-foot restaurant and bar, located just west of the Marietta Square, opened last year with a vintage van-turned-bar, 10 TVs playing old school MTV music videos, and a large menu full of burgers, melts, and other casual American fare. Co-owned by Matt DeBusschere, previously general manager at Sun in My Belly, and Justin Wilfon, a former WSB weekend anchor, Melt Yard embraces the philosophy “Food is Fun.” In addition to over-the-top milkshakes and an eight-patty burger called Meat Mountain, Melt Yard will have 14 pinball machines, a claw machine, and classic arcade games like NBA Jam, Street Fighter, and Cruising USA.

The Melt Yard bar

Photo by Matt DeBusschere

Photo by Matt DeBusschere

The arcade officially opens March 1. Games cost $0.50 each on average. A few accept credit cards, but most require coins—good thing Melt Yard has a coin machine! Debusschere and Wilfon worked with arcade restoration company Marietta Kingpins to secure the games. They also added neon signage and additional lighting to amp up the atmosphere. “As with all old things, there’s been a resurgence of pinball,” Debusschere says. “The vibe in Melt Yard is throwback, so a retro-style arcade made sense.”

The arcade will host pinball tournaments, too. The first one is scheduled for March 2. A QR code on a sign inside Melt Yard links to the sign-up sheet. For those who prefer a different kind of challenge, Melt Yard’s $40 Meat Mountain is always free if consumed within 10 minutes. You just have to sign a waiver before trying.

The eight-patty Meat Mountain costs $40 but is free to those who eat it within 10 minutes.

Photo by Matt DeBusschere