TO SOME, IT’S A TRIFECTA of good times: pinball
machines, simple New York-style pizza and heavy metal
music. Opened in May by MOM’s Organic Market founder
and CEO Scott Nash, VÜK keeps the vibe unfussy: With
dim lighting and a relaxed atmosphere, the long, narrow
restaurant is supposed to feel like a friend’s basement.
Though Nash says he expected the place to be popular
among adults, kids often dominate the crowd during VÜK’s
daytime hours, enjoying the 10 pinball machines and the two
arcade games. Each play costs two quarters (there’s a change
machine on-site). After 5 p.m., VÜK’s clientele skews toward
adults who eat at the indoor and outdoor seating or gather
around The Lord of the Rings or Metallica pinball machines.
The restaurant serves about a half-dozen beers alongside
the pizza, which can be bought as a full pie or by the slice.
VÜK—which gets its name from the vertical up-kicker pinball
launcher and the Serbian word for wolf—hosts pinball
tournaments every two months, and a pinball league started
meeting there this summer.
VÜK, 4924 St. Elmo Ave., Bethesda; 301-652-8000, vukpinball.com
—Joe Zimmermann PH