Susan Sarandon spreads the gospel of Ping-Pong with anticipated new Marina City bar and restaurant Spin.
“No matter how good or bad you are, Ping-Pong is always fun,” says actress Susan Sarandon, a partner in sporty social club Spin.
Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon has made a career out of unexpected turns in films like Thelma & Louise, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Dead Man Walking, so her latest role—as a table tennis fanatic (or, in her words, “propagandist”) and partner in Ping-Pong social club Spin—should come as no surprise. “No matter how good or bad you are, it’s always fun,” says Sarandon of the concept, which launched in New York in 2009. Later this fall, Spin makes its way to the Windy City in a David Rockwell-designed outpost in River North (344 N. State St.). Here, Sarandon serves up the inside story—and offers tips for players in the making.
What do you love about Ping-Pong? It’s very democratic in that it goes across body type, age, gender—anybody can beat anybody. You see these skinny teenage boys beating big athletes, or little girls beating their fathers; it’s not like basketball, or football, where eventually you’d have to stop. It was something that I came to fairly late, but I’m really proud to be an emissary for the sport. It used to be considered something that you got rid of when you were a kid or else you were a nerd, and now it’s become kind of cool. And let’s face it: The nerds are taking over the world. [Laughs]
Why did you choose Chicago for the next opening? Mostly my experience in Chicago, I have to admit, was coming to do Oprah all the time! I know that it’s a town that likes games, and likes drinking, and likes socializing—and those winters are pretty harsh, so it’s nice to come in and keep warm playing a game.
What can Chicagoans expect at Spin? It’s a place that you can go on a date, or with a group, or with your family, or with your office. It’s going to be very cozy but very beautiful, very modern but at the same time like a glorified basement place to hang out with great food. I think it will serve a lot of different communities.