New Chicago Ping Pong Venue - AceBounce

08.30.2016

Adam Breeden had a vision for social entertainment venues. He knew the rigors of opening a groundbreaking concept from his days as founder of All Star Lanes in London. But after successfully launching that business, Adam still felt an itch for a concept that wasn’t satisfied among the businesses in London’s nightlife scene.

That’s why Adam built the first two Bounce venues in the UK, combining the laid back fun of ping pong with the absolute best of interior design and furnishings for a social club: Bar, restaurant and ping pong. The holy trinity of social entertainment in other words.

The first two locations were rapidly enshrined as top destinations for London’s nightlife scene. So the next logical step was to bring the formula for a stellar ping pong bar to an international audience. And that’s why AceBounce, the spunky American cousin of the original Bounce, was created as new Chicago ping pong venue.

New Chicago Ping Pong Venue - Acebounce

Some guests have descended AceBounce’s grand staircase, walked past the recreations of original ping pong game manuals from Jacques of London, observed the larger-than-life murals and 3D art installations on the walls of the 14,500 sq. ft. space, sipped a cool craft cocktail from the 50 ft. bar and nibbled on savory bites from the kitchen, played a few rounds of table tennis with coworkers or friends, and then asked themselves, “Why Chicago?” A classic case of Midwestern humility. It’s a valid question, though.

The answer is simple: Chicago knows how to have a good time. 

It’s a town that’s wall to wall with theaters, concert venues, and festivals. And who could ignore the many, MANY places to snag a cold beverage in Chicago’s neighborhoods? There are even two baseball teams to choose from. Chicago caters to nearly all tastes when it comes to having fun. 

There’s a responsibility in bringing big time fun to Chicago, though. There’s that famous quote from Daniel Burnham, legendary architect and urban planner, that sums up Chicago’s attitude. “Make no little plans,” Burnham said. Noted. So that’s why it’s not JUST about ping pong at AceBounce. It’s also about amazing food. And it’s also about showstopping beverages. OK, that’s a lot to take in at once. Let’s break it down.

An activity like table tennis appeals to the inner child. Fun is foremost when playing the game, regardless of skill level (Ping pong skill is, like, the least important thing. Really.) and if a group of friends are playing together it’s pretty clear that just messing about with the paddles and balls is a perfectly fine way to enjoy one’s self. Benjamin Franklin was known to completely eschew the rules, and he was pretty ahead of his time! True story. 

Then, move on to the bespoke 50 ft. bar that’s serving up inventive cocktails like the Riverwalk, a shared cocktail served in a copper goblet (oh yeah, that’s right) and there’s something for the adult in the room. “Yes, I’m sophisticated and enjoy sipping premium beverages while fooling around with tiny plastic balls." This is adult-ing at its finest.

With games and drinks taken care of, what’s missing? People have to eat. And no, a plain old hot dog won’t do the trick. Remember Burnham’s advice! So that’s why there’s a dedicated restaurant within AceBounce, 1901, with seating for more than 40 in its own elevated space. The waiters are spry, so they’ll even bring the delectable bites dreamed up by Rick Gresh to the ping pong tables. It’s like a playground for all the senses. A drink/eat/play/ground. That’s a thing. Well, it is now anyway.

In a few words, here it is Chicago: You were just waiting for something this audacious to arrive, and even if you’re overly polite and demure in your Midwest way, you can’t deny that you’re a big, brassy, bodacious city that demands serious fun and even more serious food and drinks to go along. No, there’s no need to say thanks. You’ve earned this one. 

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