Coffee, pinball lounge to open in Eau Claire

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (RELEASE) -- January 2019: Skill Shot, a coffee & pinball lounge, will open on February 19, 2019. The lounge, which is located at Artisan Forge Studios, 1106 Mondovi Rd., will offer hand-crafted coffee drinks, tea, craft beer, wine, healthy grab-and-go food, and a selection of pinball machines.

Zach Halmstad, a partner of parent company Pablo Properties, was initially drawn to the concept of a pinball coffee shop four years ago, explaining the name as “A play on a pinball term for the first shot in pinball, and skillfully pulling a shot of espresso.” Plans from Minneapolis firm Shelter Architecture show 46 seats in the interior of the shop, with the potential to add an exterior patio. Halmstad describes the floor plan as “clean and modern”, noting a large central coffee bar, areas for meetings, and quieter places to sit and study.

Artisan Forge began in 2015 with the mission of “fostering artistic creativity, collaboration, community, and education”. Local metalworks artist & founder of Artisan Forge Studios, Greg Johnson, jumped at the chance to work with Pablo on Skill Shot. “The Pablo philosophy aligns so perfectly with our vision at Artisan Forge Studios to bring a better life experience to the community through arts and culture,” Johnson said in a statement. “I am most excited to see a café full of people who have made Artisan Forge Studios a destination as a result of Skill Shot and the amazingly talented individuals of the Artisan Forge community.”

Pablo’s Food & Beverage Director, Kent Buell, is eager to join that community, specifying, “We’re working hard to create a space that matches the talents of our fellow artisans and artists in the building.” Halmstad agrees, mentioning how the mechanical and analog nature of pinball fits with Artisan Forge’s design, and that Pablo “looks forward to seeing how the space continues to evolve over time.”

Upon opening, the hours of Skill Shot will be from 7:00 am-7:00 pm Monday through Friday, and Saturday from 8:00 am-2:00 pm.