After two years in the making and a £2.5m development project, Bounce is the brainchild of entrepreneur and accomplished table tennis player Dov Penzik and the co-founder of the All Star Lanes restaurant and bowling concept, Adam Breeden.
The pair hope to take advantage of the explosion of stylish table tennis social venues in the US and the huge resurgence of interest in the game within the UK over the past few years. They have teamed up with Joe Jaques - grandson of the game’s inventor, John Jaques III - to bring the concept to life with the new venue, located on the same site where the game of table tennis was originally invented by Jaques & Son.
Breeden, Bounce’s managing director, said: “Some things are worth reviving and our love of ping pong is one of them. Ping pong is the most accessible and fun sporting activity there is and Bounce is taking the game back to its roots by combining the sport with socialising, entertainment and a touch of glamour and on the very birthplace of the game.”
Co-founder Penzik added: “Bringing Bounce to life has been an incredible experience. Since dreaming up the idea almost four years ago, social ping pong has begun to emerge in the US and in pockets of London. Adding great food and a fabulous bar environment to our love of the game creates a fresh new take on a lifelong passion.”
Table tennis trend...
The venue will be the second ping pong restaurant and bar concept to hit the capital this year, with PING set to open in Earls Court Road later this month.
“The concept is developed from the ‘pool bar’ culture,” Alex Potter, one of PING’s owners, told BigHospitality last month. “The transition between dinner, drinking and dancing seems to have become a bit of a bygone era and it’s now become so disjointed, with people having to go a restaurant, then a bar, then a club.”
Designed by interior designer Russell Sage (who has also worked on The Zetter Townhouse, The Hospital Club and The Savoy), Bounce features ‘timeless, yet stylish and edgy’ interior. The 12,500 sq.ft central London space has raised restaurant seating for up to 130 diners, with an expansive view overlooking the table tennis playing area.
The open-plan venue features a 7ft-wide open counter wood-burning pizza oven and a 40ft bar laid out in an arch around the playing area of 17 table tennis tables. Bounce also offers a separate private room available for exclusive hire featuring three specially commissioned ping pong tables alongside the private cocktail bar and DJ booth.
'Complete social experience'
Customers will be able to choose from a seasonal drinks menu including a range of boutique London beers, fine wines and classic British cocktails Inspired by famous London gin Palaces.
Joe Jaques said:“The opening of Bounce is a defining moment for a new generation of table tennis fans. Bounce is refreshing the game by building a complete social experience around it. My grandfather would heartily approve.”
Also involved with the Bounce concept are Ed and Tom Martin of the ETM Group; Alex Chesterman, founder of LOVEFiLM and Zoopla; and Mark Sainsbury, owner of London hotel The Zetter Townhouse and co-founder of Moro in Exmouth Market.
All Star Lanes, which also has a site in Holborn along with others in Bayswater, Brick Lane and Stratford City, recently placed 145th in Restaurant magazine's R200 list of the 200 largest restaurant and food-led pub operators in the UK.
Bounce is located at 121 Holborn, London. The venue’s website, which is still under construction, is www.bouncelondon.co.uk