SPiN Serves Up Posh Ping-Pong
SPiN owners Franck Raharinosy and Jonathan Bricklin conceived the idea for the club while hosting a party called “Naked Ping-Pong.” The informal gathering of curious frat-boys, models, and hardcore players was a success. Raharinosy and Bricklin expanded in 2009, joining the club’s third founder, Andrew Gordon, and actress Susan Sarandon to establish the more high-end venue.
SPiN’s main room is spacious and airy, with 17 ping pong tables. Bleachers encircle the largest area of the center court, which the professional players usually claim. To the right of center court are 16 other courts where patrons can play recreationally. Towards the back of the 1,300-square-foot space is a dimly lit L-shaped bar and lounge area. Back there, SPiN really starts to feel like a nightclub.
“SPiN is a really chill and fun place to come socialize with people,” said bartender Latresha Baker. “A lot of celebrities come. We recently had Ashton Kutcher, Mike Myers, and some of the X-Men cast. Last October we had a Gossip Girl party, and Penn Badgley is a member of SPiN.”
First time ping-pong player Alisa Zammit said that the social scene at SPiN is an inviting one. “I like it a lot — the atmosphere is so chill and relaxed,” Zammit said.
SPiN has working relationships with galleries around New York, as well. “They send us up-and-coming artists, and we display their artwork,” said Todd Feinstein, SPiN’s manager. “We try to promote and sell them.” Every three months SPiN changes the artwork in the private VIP room to promote as many artists as possible.
“We are 100 percent all about giving back to New York City. If a school needs tables or if there is a special event, we’re always willing to help out,” Feinstein said. They lent tables to the American Museum of Natural History and were one of the sponsors for the Governor’s Ball.
Raharinosy and Bricklin’s enthusiasm for ping-pong brought the casual game out of the park and into the club. There, it has evolved into playground for the elite, a hip social venue for the occasional and pro player. SPiN turned a game into a party. Drink in hand, it’s sports New York-style: glamorous, fashionable, trendy, and filled with celebrities.