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The red-tape brigade comes to The Pinball Café—but the owners are appealing

That was fast. We’ve received word from Jason Hazzard that the Toronto red-tape brigade is planning to put the kibosh on has got a few problems with his brand-new Pinball Café. Hazzard told us that his business license has been revoked because, although there’s no problem with running a café in the space, he’s not currently licensed to run an arcade. city officials have told him that the café is located in an area where the zoning does not allow “Places of Amusement.” “It’s the remnant of some 1950s-era law,” Hazzard explained. Apparently, pinball was illegal in many big North American cities until the ’70s because it was equated with gambling (there were even pinball raids!). As it stands, the café is not exactly a site of corruption and degeneracy: yesterday, it was filled with couples on dates sipping milkshakes and lonely hearts wiling away Valentines Day on Supersonic. Hazzard is contesting the revocation of his business license is applying for a zoning variance, a process that will take three months. Until the hammer comes down, he plans to stay open, spreading the pinball gospel to all those with a spare quarter (and even those without—Skylab is free to play).