A bit of nostalgia: Pinball arcade opening in Delray Beach

Get ready, Delray Beach: Here come Donkey Kong and Ms. Pac-Man

Ms. Pac-Man is chomping her way into Delray Beach.

The 1980s sensation will occupy a spot at the Silverball Museum, a new arcade featuring 150 video games and pinball machines, some dating to the 1930s.

Rob Ilvento hopes to open the place at 19 N.E. Third Ave. within a week, though he says he doesn't have an exact date because he's waiting for final approvals from the city.

The two-story arcade has an Evel Knievel machine from 1977 and a vintage 1934 game dedicated to Army-Navy football.

Donkey Kong? Check. Skee Ball? Check.

Ilvento says kids will have a blast — and so will their parents and grandparents.

"Adults are our clients," he said. "We have 50-, 60-, 70-year-old birthday parties all the time. Retirees are looking for something to do. They want to rekindle what they did in their childhood."

The 9,000-square-foot building is a former nightclub just north of Atlantic Avenue. It's the second location for Silverball, which opened seven years ago in Asbury Park, N.J.

Ilvento, 51, a Princeton, N.J., food product manufacturer, says only half-kiddingly that he picked Delray Beach because it gives him a good excuse to visit his parents, who retired here.

The site has 10 televisions, which will play whatever sport is in season. On weekdays, the TVs will carry cartoons, and a wall screen will play black-and-white movies.

The menu includes pizza, chicken tenders, hot dogs and $5 all-you-can-drink sodas. Eventually, Ilvento plans to appeal to more sophisticated palates with lobster rolls and crab cakes. Beer, wine and champagne also will be served.

Patrons need no coins to play. The cost ranges from $7.50 for a half hour to $25 all day. A monthly membership is $30 for one and $50 for two.

Silverball will open daily at 11 a.m. and close at midnight during the week, 2 a.m. on weekends and 10 p.m. on Sundays.

Delray Beach Mayor Cary Glickstein says Silverball parking will be tight, but he's looking forward to the opening of another downtown destination.

"We don't need more bars and restaurants," he said. "We need things for people to do. This fits with that objective."

Mitch Senkowicz, 23, a Delray Beach resident and recent college graduate, agrees that the city needs more variety. He said he and his buddies are tired of the $12 beers at downtown establishments.

"We'll have to check this out," he said Thursday. "This sounds like a great idea."

Tara Wood also is intrigued.

The 42-year-old Delray Beach yoga instructor popped in Thursday to see what was happening. An employee gave her the quick run-down, and she insists she'll be back.

"Adults are just little kids," she said. "I'd totally come here."

Peowers@Tribpub.com, 561-243-6529 or Twitter @paulowers

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