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Downtown Ping-Pong Bar Reopens With a New Name and Fried Chicken

Goodbye Spin, hello Smash ATX

A tall burger with onion rings inside and fries on the plate on a table with a flower
A burger from Smash ATX
Gaby Deimeke
Erin Russell is associate editor of Eater Austin, a native Austinite, and a big fan of carbs.

Though Austin’s downtown ping-pong bar Spin closed in March 2020, it has now been revamped and reopened as Smash ATX. Smash opens at 213 West Fifth Street on Wednesday, October 6.

Smash’s menu has a comfort food bent, with items like deviled eggs, crispy chicken sandwiches, flatbreads, salads, and a California burrito stuffed with french fries. On Sundays, the restaurant will offer brunch as well as a special fried chicken meal for service industry workers. Chef Kersten Knight previously worked at EastSide Tavern and Austin’s powerhouse hospitality company McGuire Moorman Lambert.

Drinks-wise, Smash has local beer beers along with a full bar, including cocktails like the Verde with tequila, elderflower liqueur, poblano liqueur, cucumber, and lime juice. The interiors remain largely the same from its Spin days: 10 ping-pong tables, big-screen TVs, dine-in seating, and large, colorful wall murals.

Spin, a New York-based chain that boasted actress Susan Sarandon as a co-founder, opened in Austin in May 2018, taking over legendary blues bar Antone’s, which moved further east. Spin closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic, and then its new management, Spin Austin LLC (unaffiliated with the national brand) received a massive $2.5 million pandemic relief grant.

Smash will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to midnight.

Smash ATX

213 West 5th Street, , TX 78701 (737) 263-0555 Visit Website