Black lights illuminate your opponent as electronic music pulses in the background. You raise your paddle, and swing. The Ping-Pong match begins. This unusual scene unfolds nearly every day and night at Spin New York, a self-described "Ping-Pong social club."
Lauded in a range of media, this now-international franchise was created with a firm vision in mind. In an interview on Anderson Live, co-owner and actress Susan Saradon explains her love of Ping-Pong: "it cuts across age, body type, gender; little girls can beat their fathers." In an NBC News segment, co-owner Jonathan Brickland adds that their mission was to marry the social nature of the sport with the atmosphere of a country club, except "more inclusive ... silly, and frivolous," and ideally with fewer golf-cart crashes.
Spin New York certainly takes this fun-focused mission seriously. The sprawling hall houses 17 Ping-Pong courts, including a central court where professional players compete in regular tournaments. These same professionals are on-hand for private instruction, though players are more than welcome to keep things casual. Meanwhile, an on-site restaurant and bar serves seasonally changing plates alongside cocktails made from fruit purees and blended Teaologie teas. From the seats or the courts, visitors may see one of the old building's original features: a giant window that looks out onto the passing subway train.
On most nights, a DJ provides a soundtrack to dining and play, although live bands are often a weekend fixture. Adding to its socially-focused mission, Spin also gathers people to support charitable causes; recently, Ms. Sarandon used her club to host a benefit for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Like any good basement, Cellar 58 is full of secrets. Hidden in the back of the East Village eatery is a wine-tasting room that shelters more than 150 different bottles, including some that hail from overlooked countries, such as Greece and Bulgaria. In addition, the wine bar's frequently changing selection features more than 30 wines by the glass.
From the Press
"Wine enthusiasts eager to explore new territory should take a seat at one of the long marble tables at this mural-adorned East Village wine bar." — Time Out New York
"It makes for the ideal venue for lingering over the international wine list comprising the world's major, minor and up-and-coming varietals, vineyards and vintages." — Gayot
"The pours come from all corners of the world, and not just the currently budget-friendly Chile and New Zealand- Greece, Austria, and Bulgaria all make an appearance." — New York magazine
Beyond the Wine List
There is also a surprising treasure in the front dining room. The marble-topped tables play host to entrees and small plates prepared by chef Fabio Bano, who comes to Cellar 58 from the ultraprivate Soho House. Using cooking methods that he learned and perfected in Italy, Bano handcrafts pastas and inventive desserts, which, like top-secret memos, melt satisfyingly upon entering the mouth.
Sit back with a burger and fries at Harlem Tavern, a relaxed spot serving American cuisine.
The menu doesn't include any low-fat items, so set aside some extra calories for your visit.
Harlem Tavern also operates a bar, so a round of drinks with dinner is not out of the question.
The whole family can enjoy a meal at Harlem Tavern with its kid-friendly fare.
Unwind on a budget, and enjoy happy hour's low-cost beers and simple eats.
Find ample room to enjoy yourself at Harlem Tavern — this spot caters to large groups.
During the summer months, don't miss out on Harlem Tavern's outdoor patio seating.
Wifi here is on the house.
Noise levels at the restaurant can be ear-piercing, so save the t te- -t tes for another night.
Patrons pack the restaurant on weekends, so it's a good idea to make a reservation to ensure prompt seating.
Not a popular place for dress-up dining, most Harlem Tavern patrons come in casual attire.
Catering services are also available.
Always five minutes behind schedule? Pick up your food to go instead.
Brush up on your parallel parking skills — the restaurant's Frederick Douglass Blvd location offers nearby street parking.
If you feel like saving gas, opt for public transportation, with stops conveniently located at 116 St. (A, B, C), Cathedral Pkwy 110 St (A, B, C), and 116 St. (2, 3).
A visit to Harlem Tavern will set you back less than $30 per person, so you can make it a regular part of your schedule.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all available at Harlem Tavern.
Crowds clink craft beers, nibble on upscale pub fare, and bustle around with plenty of elbowroom in The Three Monkeys’ two-level venue, complete with a heated second-floor outside deck and a rooftop lounge. The executive chef crafts food menus of satisfying and inventive meals from locally sourced and humanely raised ingredients for brunch, dinner, and late-night rendezvous. With plenty of plates meant for sharing, chicken wings and balsamic calamari set the stage before taste buds crowd up to artisan cheese and charcuterie plates. Heartier fare includes the Three Monkeys burger, boasting a mixture of chuck and brisket ground in-house and served on a brioche bun. Customers who didn’t get enough in the evening can return for brunch, healing bodies with rich dishes of poutine or almond french toast.
When sipping between bites during any time of day, the eatery’s draft list hosts dozens of choices and rotates more often than an insubordinate carousel. Among the choices, craft beers take center stage, from breweries all around the country such as Blue Point, Lagunitas, and Allagash. Depending on the available drafts, bartenders craft themed beer flights that pair groups of hoppy beers, New York beers, or Midwestern beers as well as other selections.
Few people would imagine a turn-of-the-century horse stable as an epicenter of opulence, but when two nightlife impresarios teamed up, that’s exactly what they achieved. They transformed their Manhattan space into a glitzy indoor and outdoor venue for parties and happy hours. The venue spans multiple rooms and spaces, including a nightclub-like, 5000-square-foot salon supported by wooden beams reclaimed from vintage vessels and a terrace strewn with greenery and plush benches.
The open-air rooftop epitomizes decadence with its temperature-regulated mahogany flooring, fireplace, and party playlists streaming through surround sound from the DJ booth. The rooftop’s glass-enclosed, curtained cabanas have individually controlled heating and cooling units, as well as customizable hologram celebrity guests. The venue has even drawn the eye of high-profile partiers, including the cast of Jersey Shore and the Today show.
Spherical lights seem to drift in smooth bubbly spirals up toward the ceiling of Flûte Champagne Bar. Conversation bursts effervescently off walls and artwork in a palette of rosé pinks and prosecco tans. Myriad champagnes and sparkling wines, including Perrier-Jouët gran brut and a range of cavas, form lacelike crowns of bubbles in an atmosphere that aims to blend the French art de vivre aesthetic with a dash of NYC nightclub. Patrons can select single flutes or bottles, or they can sample several flights that showcase different grapes, a single producer, or the patience of a waitress willing to help you pick out all the bubbles. Cocktails lean heavily on sparkling wines and include bellinis, a blend of prosecco and fruit puree, which pair nicely with small plates of cheese and fruit or foie gras terrine.
Flûte now operates locations in Midtown. In Midtown, visitors descend a short flight of stairs before sinking into intimate booths or plush benches. The original Midtown location celebrates its speakeasy roots with fiery jazz nights every Wednesday, complete with performers and guests alike dressed in period apparel.