A bar and restaurant featuring table tennis is set to be opened in Reading this month by Eclectic Bars as part of its move into “leisure” concepts.
Called Smash, it has been developed on the ground floor of the company’s Sakura venue in Gun Street. It will feature over 50 craft beers and ciders, “artisan” pizzas and four Olympic-standard table-tennis tables.
Due to be launched on May 27, it will be open seven days a week from midday until late, and ping-pong tables will be available for both pre-booking and walk-in.
The creation of Smash follows the company’s chairman Luke Johnson talking in March of how they were planning into broaden the business to “more activity-based leisure concepts”.
The décor will be contemporary, offering a laid-back vibe with exposed brickwork and industrial-style light fittings. It has been designed by interiors specialist Cheeky Tiki which has worked on other Eclectic bars such as Lola Lo.
Music will be a mix of retro indie and disco classics, with regular DJs and live music acts. Live sports events, such as the Superbowl, will be shown.
Lee Nicolson, who took over as managing director of Eclectic Bars last month, said: “Smash is a new and radically different take on a sports bar product. Table tennis is a social sporting activity and we’re taking it back to its roots by bringing it into the entertainment arena.
“The game can be enjoyed by friends and work colleagues, and you don’t have to be good at it to have fun. We’ve added great food and drink and a cool, exciting environment to the mix to make Smash a unique experience.”
Pizzas will be hand-made and cooked in an authentic Italian style, with fresh dough bases and high-quality ingredients. They are working with some of the most reputable craft beer suppliers from around the world as well as brewing and bottling their own Smash beer in the UK.
Eclectic Bars is now a subsidiary of The Brighton Pier Group which was created when Eclectic Bar Group took over The Brighton Marine Palace and Pier Company in an £18m deal last month.
Eclectic, which operates bars and clubs such as Sakura, Lola Lo and Po Na Na around the country, described the takeover as the next stage in becoming a “differentiated operator of leisure and entertainment assets”.