The storm-damaged Pinball Shoppe is moving into a new building
It’s been nearly two and a half months since a late August storm brought down the roof of the Pinball Shoppe in North Olmsted. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the damage was significant.
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The day after the devastation, the family that owned and operated the business vowed to reopen it, and they weren’t kidding.
News 5 went back to check in on the company and the family that owns and runs it.
“There’s definitely a skill to playing pinball,” Gary Foreman said.
Foreman owns and operates the Pinball Shoppe in North Olmsted.
“I call it pinball engineering,” Foreman said. “You have to know where to hit the ball; the tip of the flipper or the heel of the flipper, and a good pinball player can hit almost anything on the field — at will.
As he sells it, Foreman says he’s not a good pinball player but is pretty good at fixing it.
“I’m a good fixer,” he laughed.
Foreman has been repairing and selling pinball machines for 44 years. He started the Pinball Shoppe, where his family now also works.
Just like in pinball, sometimes life can also throw you into circumstances beyond your control.
“You think you have it all figured out, and at the last minute it all goes to hell.”
Foreman talks about the night he got the call that his roof was collapsing.
“My heart sank,” he recalls. “There were a lot of sleepless nights.”
Foreman says the roof was recently replaced. From what he understands, he says the debris clogged the sewer system, and huge amounts of rain collected on the stormy August night and caused the flat roof to collapse.
“You do your best, you try to keep a positive attitude; it’s not the end of the world, you know; you keep going.”
They promised they’d be back the day after the crash, and they weren’t kidding.
“Here we are,” smiled co-owner Melissa Rossi.
“We want you guys to come check us out.”
Rossi is Foreman’s daughter and co-owner of the Pinball Shoppe.
Their new location is 31441 Lorain Road. Suite D, at the corner of Lorain and Industrial Parkway. It’s just a few miles west of the old spot on Butternut Ridge and Porter Roads.
“We had a tough time,” Rossi said. “We’re a family business, the family sticks together, and we’re back!”
She said the damage was devastating, but it could have been worse. She says she was surprised by what they found when they were able to enter the old building after the collapse.
“When I walked into the showroom, I didn’t touch it at all,” she said.
Rossi says most of their rides survived the collapse and floods. However, she said they were missing about a third of the parts and pieces used to repair and refurbish old pinball machines and arcade games.
But just like the games they sell and repair, the game isn’t over for this family-owned and operated pinball shop.
They said they sell primarily to families. Nostalgic fun brings generations together.
“Anyone from 3 to 103 can play,” Rossi said.
They said the losses incurred by The Pinball Shoppe have been replaced by gains.
“My brother, husband, and I plan to carry on my father’s legacy,” Rossi said. “It worked, we’ll keep it that way!”
It also gave them a deeper gratitude for each other, their team, and all the support they received from the North Olmsted and pinball communities.
“The community and people have all been great,” Foreman said. “I mean, yeah, it was pretty amazing.”
The old building will be demolished. It is in the process of being demolished.
Foreman owns the lot and says it will remain empty for the foreseeable future.
The Pinball Shoppe moved into the old historic building in 1995, but there were several things going on before then.
The head of the Landmarks Commission for the city of North Olmsted says the building was initially built as a bank in the 1920s, along with plans to create a neighborhood around it. However, he says the Great Depression wiped out the bank and the subdivision until development began again after World War II.
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(tags to translate) News 5 Cleveland