When it comes to the kind of games you?ll find in bars, the most common offenders are probably pool, darts and maybe an arcade game or two. These pub favorites have come to be a fixture in bars throughout the country for decades. But New York has never been a city to settle for whatever it is that everyone has. Every now and then, the ante for a night at the bar needs to be upped ? past sipping a craft beer or specialty cocktail to actually having something to do in the process. A few years ago, it was bowling, as sleek bar-and-alley hybrids like Lucky Strike sprang up. Inevitably though, there?s a new kid in town?ping pong, thanks mostly to one very popular spot called SPiN.
Maybe in part because of backing by Susan Sarandon, and her frequent presence, SPiN quickly grabbed the spotlight as a new must-hit lounge. Now, the bar that looks a lot like a gym draws a dense crowd of scenesters, tastemakers and overall fun-seekers every night. For $10 to $20 per half hour, depending on time of day, you and your friends can take over one of the vibrantly hued tables and sip cocktails typically unaffiliated with table tennis. You can even nosh on food provided by Ducks Eatery, with a menu of mouthwatering sandwiches and salads to fill you up without weighing you down come game time.
If you still need more ping pong after you check out SPiN, head to the West Village for Fat Cat, likened to a cool basement or rec room for adults that features tons of games, live music (jazz) and, of course, drinks. For a $3 cover, you?ll enter a cave-like setting jammed with ping pong and other bar staples like pool and foosball ? plus board games like Scrabble. You?ll definitely lose track of time as Fat Cat whisks you back to childhood ? except that this time, you can drink.
While SPiN and Fat Cat are major destinations for ping pong, now, the trend is just beginning to break out. Keep an eye out for more and more bars breaking out the ping pong tables to keep up with the competition and keep you entertained.
SPiN is located at 48 East 23rd street at Park Avenue South.
Fat Cat is located at 75 Christopher Street at Seventh Avenue South.
January 26, 2011
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