Paddling It Out
While it might come as a shock to some, the concept of a bar devoted to ping-pong seemed like a goldmine to actress Susan Sarandon. She, along with co-owners Franck Raharinosy, Andrew Gordon and Jonathan Bricklin opened SPiN in Manhattan two years ago. Since then, General Manager Brandon Hirsh has found himself in constant need of three simple things.
“People want beer, vodka and tequila here,” he says. “We’ve had a fantastic working relationship with the new tequila brand Inocente [Tequila] since opening, and I was excited when the owner approached me about doing an industry ping-pong tournament night.”
Thanks to that relationship, since January bartenders and members of the bar and beverage industry have spent Sunday nights duking it out across the tables while sipping Inocente cocktails. For them, it’s not about free cocktails, but more so about a place to gather and have a good time with co-workers after a long week of bar shifts.
“The hope was that they come with a team and that they get so into it they want to come every Sunday. So far, it’s really working,” Hirsch continues.
Each Sunday two to six tables are reserved for the groups of competitors. Many of them are returning on additional days to practice for the competition nights, and, of course, it’s all friendly.
“People who work in bars generally don’t want to go out and be in a club all night,” he says. “We understand that they like to do something with their time and money – like have a little friendly competition – and this brand is one they definitely enjoy, as well.”