Let's get one thing straight: it's ping pong, not "table tennis" at SPiN, the new bar, restaurant and ping pong social club, now open in SoMa.
"Table tennis is the sport, and SPiN is the game for everybody," said CEO Pieter Vanermen. "We think that ping pong is very well integrated in San Francisco culture." While it's true that startups are known for their "playful" culture and often feature ping pong tables in their offices, SPiN hopes to appeal to everyone, by integrating a mixture of art, music, food and drinks, alongside the popular tabletop game.
The burgeoning chain started in New York seven years ago, the result of loft-style parties that turned into a viable business plan, with locations open in Chicago, Los Angeles and Toronto. Founded by actress Susan Sarandon (yes, that Susan Sarandon), Jonathan Bricklin, Franck Raharinosy and Andrew Gordon, it's become a bit of a scene for celebrities like Justin Bieber, as as well regular Joes just looking for some entertainment.
San Francisco's location will open at 690 Folsom on May 19 at 9:30 a.m., with a huge grand opening party open to the public and hosted by the Fat Jewish. Regular hours will be 11 a.m.-midnight on Sunday-Monday, staying open until 1 a.m. on Tuesday-Wednesday, and open until 2 a.m. on Thursday-Saturday.
The interior is a roomy 12,000-square-feet, filled with graffiti murals from PEMEX and RPES, as well as large scale installations from Shepard Fairey, Stikki Peaches, and David Flores. Eaton Hall Architecture designed the space, which includes 19 STIGA ping pong tables, two full bars, a private VIP lounge, and patio. Stadium-style seating surrounds the ping pong tables, which are open for recreational play as well as occasional professional tournaments. And, located on the ground floor, there is plenty of natural light from floor to ceiling windows, something Vanermen said the team took into account, since San Franciscans are known for their love of the outdoors.
One of SPiN's main goals is to bring people together, said Vanermen, getting them off their devices and involved with other people. The space will host a variety of different regular events, like the Dirty Dozen, a special event that matches professionals against amateurs, and weekly dance parties.
There's no door charge at SPiN, though table rental costs $19-$39 for 30 minutes; $29-$49 for an hour. There will also be professional lessons available for amateurs looking to gain that competitive edge. Kids are even welcome until 9 p.m., at which time it becomes 21 and up.
THE FOOD AND DRINKS
The menu comes from chef Mike Betancourt, who's logged time in kitchens like Quince, and is now focusing on food that's easy to consume while standing and talking (there's not much in the way of seating at SPiN). Finger foods like sliders and flatbreads are the main focus, along with truffle fries, sandwiches ands salads. There's also an Irish coffee ice cream sandwich, as an homage to the famous drink served at Buena Vista Cafe. Beverages are craft cocktails, draft beers and wine, including LOBs— low alcohol carbonated beverages made and bottled in-house. Check out the full menu below.