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The former home of legendary Times Square comedy club Carolines — which recently closed its flagship Midtown venue after 30 years — is taking on a new spin. The space is set to become the newest outpost of a popular ping-pong social club started by Susan Sarandon.
Luxury table tennis club Spin can be found in Toronto, Boston, San Francisco and Washington DC among others, and is already known for its celebrity backing and for the $49/hour reservation fees at the original Spin NYC Flatiron location. It plans to open sometime this year, Vice President of Brand and Culture Gregory Godfrey told the New York Post.
Though Godfrey added that the deal wasn’t “100 percent official yet”, he told the Post that the company was looking forward to utilizing the 10,000-square foot space that once housed Caroline Hirsch’s comedy empire. Spin NYC recently applied for a state liquor license for the space at 1626 Broadway.
Carolines on Broadway, which moved into the Times Square Space in 1992 after a successful run downtown, is credited with being a vital part of the area’s commercial rehabilitation. “People thought we were crazy to invest in Times Square, only later to say that we were ahead of the curve when global brands like Disney, Nasdaq and national retailers and businesses came to the neighborhood,” read a statement from the club. “We are very proud to have played an integral role in its resurgence and brought much-needed laughter to the neighborhood and the city.”
Now, the comedy club has paved the way for a new wave of recreational sport facilities hitting Midtown — including another ping-pong spot in Hell’s Kitchen. Urban table tennis startup PingPod (open at 321 W37th Street bw 8/9th Ave) found success amid the height of COVID-19 restrictions due to its 24-hour automated entry operating capacity as well as its shot-replay technology, while other venues like Nicol Squash and a potential pickleball court at Lifetime Fitness on W42nd Street have shown the all-ages value of sporting businesses.
And as for Carolines, a representative told W42ST that there were no updates yet on the club’s next chapter, but that they would share updates on a new location when available. A statement on the club’s website added: “We look forward to laughing with you again very soon.”