Date: December 2022
Location: 1349 Autumn Ave., Memphis, TN 38104, USA

Games (changing every two weeks or so):

  • AC/DC Pro Vault Edition (Stern 2017)
  • The Amazing Spider-Man (Gottlieb 1980)
  • Black Knight: Sword of Rage Pro (Stern 2019)
  • Blackout (Williams 1980)
  • Cactus Canyon Remake Special (Chicago Gaming 2022)
  • Deadpool Pro (Stern 2018)
  • Firepower (Williams 1980)
  • Flash (Williams 1979)
  • Future Spa (Bally 1979) two games side by side
  • Godzilla Premium (Stern 2021)
  • Hotdoggin’ (Bally 1979)
  • Led Zeppelin Pro (Stern 2020)
  • Mata Hari SS (Bally 1978)
  • Mystic (Bally 1979)
  • The Six Million Dollar Man (Bally 1978)
  • Skateball (Bally 1980)
  • Star Wars Pro (Stern 2017)

Many years ago, NBC television’s Saturday Night Live (in those halcyon days when the show was actually clever and entertaining) aired a spoof advert where comedian Chevy Chase posed the question “Is it a floor wax or a dessert topping?” In this case, the product ‘New Shimmer’ was both! 

In much the same way, we could ask: “Is Flip Side Memphis a barcade or a great dining destination?” As you may have guessed, it’s both!

Flip Side Memphis is the latest restaurant and bar venture from Tony and Stephanie Westmoreland of Tandem Restaurant Partners, who also own restaurants such as Zinnie’s, Ben Yay’s and the Side Car Cafe. The couple partnered with pinball aficionados David Yopp and Michael Muhlert to open Flip Side in March 2022.

Let’s talk about the dining and cover the arcade experience a bit later in this review.

If not unique, then certainly exceptional for barcades is the fact that Flip Side has an Executive Chef, Jordan Beatty, 28, on staff. Jordan’s well-curated lunch menu includes tacos, burrito bowls, salads, quesadillas, house salsas, and quesos. 

Tacos!

Beatty, a Memphis native, was a sous chef at Caritas Village, sous chef and daytime chef at Tamboli’s Pasta & Pizza, and daytime chef/brunch chef at The Vault.

Flip Side offers an elevated dinner menu available only from 5pm to 9pm. All dinner entrees come with Mexican rice, black beans, and house-made pickled taqueria salad with pickled jalapeños, carrots, radishes, and onions.

Flip Side also has a good selection of vegetarian and gluten-free items, such as their rice bowls and salads.

All this is well and good, but what about the barcade part of The Flip Side?

The Flip Side features seventeen pinball machines, some of which are vintage machines that have been restored by collector David Yopp.

Yopp said he owns over seventy pinball machines. “There is only space for 16-20 here, so I will be rotating them out”, he said.

The oldest machine in his collection dates back to 1964, while the newest was released in the summer of 2022 (the Cactus Canyon remake). 

On top of each machine, Yopp has attached an information card listing the year it was made, the manufacturer, and how many of that title were manufactured.

Every Thursday night the pub hosts a weekly pinball tournament, while IFPA-sanctioned events are held monthly. Guests can watch all the action at the tournaments and special events on screens above each machine. Yopp calls the live shot screens he designed ‘gallery monitors.’

Flip Side also has two electronic Soft Dart boards,  Super Chexx Bubble Hockey STL vs NSH, and a regulation-size pool table.

Games use tokens only and vary in cost between 2 and 5 credits per game, with 5 credits for the very newest games.

There’s a third element to Flip Side which I feel should be discussed, and that is the bar. 

Pinball Theme Bar

Like certain barcades, they have pinball theme handcrafted cocktails such as Future Spa (gin, triple sec and blood orange), The Roger Sharpe (rye whiskey, bitters, and Meletti amaro), and ‘Bonus Ball Old Fashioned (bourbon, orange bitters, and bourbon cherry) to name a few. 

Craft selects and Local Brews as well as Canned Cocktails

Flip Side serves Elvis Whiskey by Grain and Barrel Spirits company which is a blend of corn, rye and malted barley spirits. 

Is beer your thing? Flip Side has a very good selection of craft beers both in bottles and on tap. Nearby Crosstown Brewing Company has made a special IPA called Flip Side Wizard Mode which is available at the bar in cans.

Crosstown Brewing Company’s Wizard Mode “next level IPA”

Here are some tips to help you enjoy your visit to Flip Side:

Games are all token operated and there are two token dispensers available for use. Bartenders are happy to give change if you need it.

If street parking is unavailable, you can park in the nearby Crosstown shopping center garage and walk over.

You may want to call before you go. Tuesday is usually tournament night, and Flip Side is closed to the public. They also host other special and private events that require the entire facility.

Trivia is on Wednesday nights, where you can test your memory and compete for prizes.

Flip Side has a mobile unit that they have taken to such events as the Memphis Beer and Arcade Festival in September 2022 which featured craft beer, pinball, arcade machines, vendors, live music (Bit Brigade and PXLS), and movies.

Terri and I had a great evening of entertainment at Flip Side Memphis. It seems to have the right blend of a welcoming vibe, great food and drink choices, as well as a well-curated collection of games.

If you find yourself in the Memphis area, we would highly suggest that you pay Flip Side a visit.

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