Pinball Alley’s new owners bringing on the weird

The City of the Arts is about to get weird.

That means instead of floral watercolours to hang on the wall, expect the inky punk stylings of I, Braineater.

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Instead of argyle socks, pick out fishnet stockings.

Port Moody’s Pinball Alley vintage shop has new owners and they’re promising to shake up the suburbs with an aesthetic that’s more urban than suburban. 

Penny Ball and Kaine Delay have a background in pinup and punk and they think the city’s ready for their vibe.

The couple are longtime friends of Pinball Alley’s owners, Heather Wallace and Johnny Barnes, who are upping stakes to chase their lifestyle dreams in Spain.

Ball said when she learned the St. Johns Street shop — which has become a destination for audiophiles looking to fill out their vinyl record collections and lovers of mid-century kitsch and knick-knacks — was for sale, she didn’t hesitate. She said after 27 years working for others in retail, she was ready to strike out on her own.

Delay, a veteran musician with the Vancouver punk-metal-electronica band Left Spine Down, was on board as well.

The couple admit they’re feeling a weight of responsibility taking over the shop that has been recognized with several community awards in the five years since it opened but they say the time is right to bring a little more edge to Port Moody’s retail scene, especially as more people move east to escape Vancouver’s expensive cost of living. They said they’re planning to offer wall space to alternative artists and expand the shop’s offerings by a couple of decades to embrace the punk era as well.

“We realize we’ll be the weirdest people in the neighbourhood,” Delay said.

But, Ball added, as they get the keys July 1, they’ll take care to stay true to Pinball Alley’s spirit because “This place is so beloved."

• Heather Wallace and Johnny Barnes are holding a farewell shindig, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, to say goodbye to Port Moody, and to introduce Pinball Alley’s new owners to the community. There will be live music from Rockabilly Jay and well as a food cart from Taps ’n Tacos. Pinball Alley Vintage is located at 2608 St. Johns St.

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