724 E Burnside St., 971-373-8593, thewurstpdx.com.
The Wurst is the consummate skee-ball bar. Who cares if the boards have a little "personality"? It's an all-too-essential valve for the neighborhood, a clearinghouse and drunken fun center for the in-betweeners, sports fans and Midwestern-style it's-all-goodniks who just want to play some pool, and pop off a few shots on the Big Buck with a crisp IPA balanced precariously on top of the console.
4822 SE Division St., 234-0181.
Scoreboard's skee-ball scoreboard is pristine and functional—which not only suits the name but can be a rarity in bar skee, with twin 10-foot lanes for 25 cents and a change machine available. The clinging, clanging skee-ball lanes seem annoying, but the residents of this fine dive are simply not the type to complain. The board is smooth and in solid working order, there's plenty of room to throw or drunkenly make out against a pinball machine. This is pretty much the best bar skee-ball experience in town.
2239 SE 11th Ave., 236-3592, blitzladd.com.
Go to the far west corner and you'll find the Basket Fever lanes, which are just like skee ball from the rolling side but with little basketball hoops for scoring.
1800 E Burnside St., 236-2876, theeastburn.com.
EastBurn is probably best known for its hanging wicker chairs that must cost a bundle in insurance, but downstairs is a hidden—and often mostly empty—second bar that's sort of like the basement clubhouse of a disappointed man, with a pair of just-rehabbed skee-ball lanes opposite the bar. There's also four-player Pac-Man Battle Royale with drink holders, Big Buck HD, and a golf game.
Punch Bowl Social
340 SW Morrison St., 334-0360, punchbowlsocial.com.
It's a little tricky to find Punch Bowl Social's skee-ball machines: They're tucked into the right corner of the game room that's diagonal from the door. Just getting to the place means you have to venture through dreaded Pioneer Place and travel all the way up to its third level. But once you finally get to the skee-ball machines, they're in their own little enclave with a single seating area, making it really easy to monopolize the space (and thus the machines).
4825 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 445-4635, tankerbar.com.
Arguably the classiest bar in upper Hawthorne's Barmuda Triangle—not an oft-argued subject—this sports- and game-themed pub has a modern sit-down Pac-Man game and Street Fighter II, and plays Blazers games at maximum volume. There are a few decent local beers on tap, but sadly, the skee lane is solo, you lone wolf.