2017 FRINGE CLUB: Serve Ping Pong
By Anna Camara
Back in May, this year’s festival participants started to ask about the Fringe Club: Is it at Baltimore House again? No, it isn’t, because that location closed for renovations. Where is it? Where do we meet and relax? Well, this summer we meet and relax at Serve Ping Pong, which you could call a sports bar, but of a completely different kind.
Five years ago, a group of four friends who grew up playing ping pong in each other’s basements were looking for a project to take on together. They all loved good food, friendly competition and downtown Hamilton. After bouncing around a few ideas, Mark Accardi, Adam Clermont, Kevin Huynh and Gianmarco Silano partnered up to open Serve Ping Pong Bar and Lounge. Right across from the Royal Connaught, they wanted to be part of the rejuvenation of King St. and Gore Park, and at the same time offer something new and fun to do downtown.
The second-floor space is … huge. One thousand industrial-strength square feet on two levels offering bars, ping pong tables and exposed brick walls hung with enlarged black and white prints. Just about any famous person you can think of from the last century and this one is pictured playing ping pong, or table tennis, as it was once known. Yeah, Jimi Hendrix playing ping pong. It’s fun just to walk around and identify the players in those grainy photos.
Serve is located at 107 King St. E., just a few doors east of one of the Fringe’s main venues, Mills Hardware, and not far from Theatre Aquarius. It is also a one-minute walk from the Lincoln Alexander Centre, where the official Kick-Off will take place on July 19. Guess where the Kick-Off After Party will happen? Serve Ping Pong!
That’s only one of the planned events for this year’s Fringe Club. Before opening week, the Fringe will hold several seminars and training sessions, warming up the large rooms for the festivities to come. Here’s what’s coming up at Serve Ping Pong in only a few weeks:
|Wed July 19||10pm||Kick Off After-Party!|
|Fri July 21||9pm||Lip Sync Battles|
|Sat July 22||8pm||Ping Pong Competition|
|Sun July 22||8pm||Board Game Night|
|Mon July 24||8pm||Trivia Night|
|Thu July 27||9pm||Karaoke Cabaret|
|Sat July 29||8pm||Ping Pong Competition #2|
|Sun July 30||10pm||Closing Night Party & Awards|
All you need is a 2017 Fringe Backer’s Button and Serve will serve up a great deal: discounted $5.00 beer on tap nightly and an hour of play for half price ($10) with a drink purchase.
So join us for great food and company and groove on the fringe-friendly vibe at Serve Ping Pong. The Fringe Club opens at 4 p.m. each day during the Festival.
Table tennis anyone?