Culture

Chalk Miami

Photo Courtesy TARA, Inc

Take your talents to South Beach this weekend.

Located on Washington Avenue, just blocks from the ocean, the newly opened Chalk Ping Pong and Billiards Lounge encourages nightlife lovers to step away from Miami’s mega-club rendezvous and spend the night adrift in playtime.

Its sleek interior boasts the lounge essentials: 12 LED flat-screen TVs, a state-of-the art sound system and innovative cocktails. But the melange of Diamond Pro-Am billiard tables, traditional board games like Connect 4 and, of course, Cornilleau ping-pong tables is designed to create an atmosphere free of inhibitions.

Named after Richard Chalk, a managing partner of the venue, the ping-pong-meets-pool lounge was inspired by his childhood pastime.

“I’ve been playing pool since I can remember,” Chalk said. “At 6, 7 years old, my dad taught me how to play pool and it’s been a passion of mine since. I’d rather go play pool than go to a nightclub.”

Inside, private rooms can host a group of up to 15 friends wanting to challenge each other to a one-on-one round of ping-pong or a full-blown tournament. Each room is equipped with the latest in technology, offering cocktail service from an iPad and the ability to control the audio from your iPhone.

The lounge was designed with environmental sustainability in mind – Dyson hand dryers, biodegradable cups, waterless urinals and emailed receipts are all in use – and infuses organic ingredients like cilantro leaves, agave and cucumber juice into the menu’s cocktails.

“I just wanted to bring back something that the beach lost and the beach lost its local-driven venues,” Chalk said. “It’s now more all about DJs and how much money you have and the entourage you’re with.”

Originally, pool tables were intended to be the main attraction, but the ping-pong concept was brought in to add a new dimension of entertainment.

“Playing pool, you don’t have to be good, but it’s better if you are,” Chalk said. “With ping-pong you can play and smack the ball, it flies somewhere else, and it’s still a good time.”

Since its unofficial opening in December, Chalk Lounge has collaborated with the nearby Standard Hotel to host larger ping-pong tournaments and highlight the growing trend in Miami. There are now plans for more college-friendly, sports-related events to come.

“It’s definitely different and more of a chill and relaxed place,” senior Eric Rivera said. “You’re not stuck trying to get bottle service or trying to get in. A group of people can go and have fun and play ping-pong and pool. It’s actually pretty cool.”

Ping-pong aficionados can purchase a monthly membership for $50, but the hourly rate for ping-pong and pool tables is $15. The lounge is located at 1234 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. For more information, call 305-532-8662 or visit chalkmiami.com.

January 18, 2012

Reporters

Jonathan Borge

Assistant News Editor


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