Max Vinogradov isn't saying he's good at table tennis. "You never say you're good, because inevitably someone is gonna show up who's better." But still, he had to be avid enough to come up with the idea that playing in a rec center is fun, but playing in a bar is better. So he opened Hop21, which now occupies the space that used to be the basement of the Eagle Bar (the two businesses are not affiliated) and features a full bar and simple menu of panini, "which are surprisingly delicious," he says.
He hopes to expand the menu as much as they can, though they don't have a full kitchen. "But we had a lot of fun naming the food and drinks after table tennis." The Drop Shot is avocado, tomato, red onion, arugula, mozz, and roasted red peppers. Pair it with a "Paddle Master," an Absolut Citron gimlet, and you're halfway to a perfect game.
The place is decked out with seven tables, couches for onlookers and cheerleaders, and that full bar for the rest of us.
Extra added bonus: Now you don't have to say you're going to the bar. Instead tell all your friends that you're going to the "table tennis social club," and they'll be impressed with your newfound athletic prowess. Then, order up that gimlet.
Court rates before 6 p.m. are $15 hourly, and $20 hourly after 6 p.m. All ages before 9 p.m. nightly, and then 21 and over only.
501 Washington Ave. S., Mpls.
Open until midnight six days a week, closed Mondays