A new ping-pong bar bounces into the 905
The venue is matching up against SPiN Toronto and Smash Ping Pong Lounge
When Susan Sarandon’s into it, you know it’s cool. Table tennis — or ping-pong — has become a social phenomenon as of late, spreading across bars worldwide. There’s a huge ping-pong scene springing up in downtown Toronto with SPiN Toronto, located at 461 King St. W., and Smash Ping Pong Lounge located at 672 Queen St. E. Now, Richmond Hill wants a piece of the action with the opening of Whiff Waff, a 6,000-square-foot bar, located at 9-115 York Blvd. It offers nine ping-pong tables and two VIP tables that are built to International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) specifications: meaning you won’t find this table in your friend’s basement.
After a night out at SPiN — co-founded by the aforementioned keener Sarandon — Whiff Waff’s owner Wilson Wong witnessed first-hand the popularity of the game in a social setting.
“I thought [the theme of the bar] was a great idea, but I thought, why should people have to travel all the way downtown?”
This realization led Wong to open York Region’s first ping-pong bar. Whiff Waff is named after a 1900s alternative name for the game, after Jacques games company trademarked the name ping-pong in 1901.
“Back in my day, it used to be pool halls that would be the place to hang out at, but this is the new trend,” said Wong. “Ping-pong is a fun social game that anyone can kind of play, even if they haven’t played in 10 years. It’s like riding a bike, you just pick up the paddle and the ball, and it comes back to you.”
Not only is ping-pong a healthy and active activity, but you can play the game either with a group of people or by yourself ( Whiff Waff has a serving robot that you can rent).
The ping-pong tend has also attracted many businesses to drop the work and pick up a paddle to engage in a fun, social team-building activity. Wong hopes to start hosting pingpong tournaments and leagues at the beginning of April.
“It is something different that people can enjoy outside of a basement or a community centre,” he said. “It’s a cooler place to hang out: drinks and ping-pong, it’s an easy combination.”
Does this mean we should trade in pool cues for ping-pong paddles?
L–R: Whiff Waff is equipped with nine ping-pong tables and two VIP tables that are built to ITTF specifications; owner Wilson Wong with the serving robot