Ping-pong bar with swanky decor, upscale cocktails opens in the District

Media Credit: Areille Bader | Staff Photographer

SPIN D.C., located in the basement under the National Press Club at 1332 F St. NW, opened Saturday as a bar and ping-pong arena.

Updated: Jan. 24, 2019 at 3:05 p.m.

Forget beer pong. The District’s newest game bar offers ping-pong with a fully stocked bar nearby.

SPIN D.C., located in the basement under the National Press Club at 1332 F St. NW, opened Saturday as a bar and ping-pong arena. The thought of a ping-pong bar may elicit images of college kids playing a drinking game played on a sticky basement floor, but the 12,000-square-foot venue is upscale and outfitted with two bars, leather and velvet couches and hired employees to chase stray balls for you.

The bar, which also has locations in cities like New York, Chicago and San Francisco, caters to beginners and professionals at its 12 Olympic-sized ping-pong tables. For $9 per hour, per person, newbies can play a traditional round of one-on-one table tennis, while ping-pong pros can play a variation like “the run around,” in which you and a large group run around the table paddling the ball to one another.

On weekends when the bar is likely to be busier, SPIN D.C. allows customers to reserve tables online for $39. The company also has $9 entry all day on Sundays.

The bar’s staff double as ball boys and girls and constantly come by your table to collect loose ping-pong balls so you don’t spend your entire game running around.

Areille Bader | Staff Photographer

Laheera Bridges, an employee at SPIN D.C., poses for a photo at the bar in the basement under the National Press Club.

Between games, customers can belly up to the cushy velvet bar seats or occupy one of the several tables throughout the space and cheer on other players. Alongside swanky decor, SPIN D.C. also has a bathtub filled with ping-pong balls where players can put on a bathrobe and hop in the tub for a photo op – a staple decoration at all of SPIN’s locations across the country.

While playing an intense game of ping-pong, you may need to refuel with food or get some liquid courage to dominate your next match. SPIN D.C. has you covered with its extensive menu of food, ranging from snacks to nibble on to larger meals to fill you up fast.

The house fries ($8) that come with nontraditional sides like harissa ketchup and garlic aioli, and “Duck Duck Goose” sliders ($21), with smoked duck leg, foie gras and gooseberry, are offered for a step-up from traditional bar food.

With a fully stocked bar, the venue also has an eclectic list of cocktails. A seasonal Moscow mule ($13) has all the traditional ingredients, like ginger beer, vodka and lime, plus blood orange preserves. Or you can fuel up with “I Need More Allowance,” a cocktail that mixes scotch, beet root, honey and lemon ($12).

For those with a beer budget, food and drink options are served at a discounted price during weekday happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m.

This post has been updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly identified an individual in a photo caption. The caption has been corrected. We regret this error.

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