Spin, the ping pong social club/bar/restaurant originally co-founded by actress Susan Sarandon, is expanding into Philadelphia with a 12,000-square-foot subterranean venue that puts your parents’ basement rec room to shame. The new Center City location, on 15th and Walnut, includes 17 Olympic-grade ping pong tables, graffiti murals, a full bar, a bathtub filled with ping pong balls, scratch-and-sniff wallpaper, a DJ booth, and bleachers for watching the ping pong pros in action. It opens this Friday, September 15, with a party hosted by rapper Schoolly D and the 76ers’ Robert Covington.
The first Spin opened in New York in 2009; there are now outposts in Chicago, San Francisco, LA, and Toronto, with several more on the way. As the brand expands it’s adding emphasis to the food and drink component: The Philly location has a large bar and tables on an elevated platform that overlooks the ping pong tables but feels set apart enough that you could conceivably come in for a Fishtown Throwdown cocktail and plate of sweet potato waffle fries and never pick up a paddle.
Of course, picking up a paddle is pretty much the point of coming to a ping pong club. Ping pong tables at Spin are rented by the half hour or hour for $15 to $59 — but why go for a regular table when there’s the aptly dubbed Red Room with its red ping pong table, red floor, red furniture, and red neon sign?
Outside of the Red Room, Spin is decorated with murals from Amberella, Dain, Fluke & Zek, UR New York, and Philly-based King Saladeen. A mini-store by the entrance sells Spin merchandise, like a pair of sneakers from Vans and a paddle set by UBIQ.
To eat, there’s shareable pub grub, like soft pretzels with cider cheese, pastrami-topped tater tots, wings, and sliders. The flatbread pizzas are also made to be shared, and one probably shouldn’t eat an entire cast iron-baked chocolate chip cookie by oneself. On the drinks side, there’s beer, wine, sangria, and a list of Philly-infused cocktails, like the Philly’s Own (a negroni with Bluecoat gin). That Fishtown Throwdown is a mix of rum, triple sec, peach schnapps, tea syrup, and lemon.
Friday’s party opens to the public at 9 p.m. Going forward, Spin’s hours will be 11 a.m. to midnight Monday to Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday to Saturday, and 11 am. to 10 p.m. Sunday. The entrance is on 15th Street between Locust and Walnut, between &Pizza and a Verizon store.
Take a look at the food and drink: