Vancouver on the Cheap: Ping Pong Night at the Biltmore


If you were to create a Venn diagram where one circle was labeled “cheap” and the other labeled “awesome”, the middle point where they cross over could be labeled “Vancouver on the Cheap”. In other words, this is a weekly series on things to do and places to go in Vancouver that fall into that magical category of being both cheap and awesome.

Got a cheap-living tip you’d like to share? Send it in!

Here’s something new: where do you go to play ping pong? A night club? Sure, if it’s cheap! (And awesome.) About once a month, our friends at The Biltmore Cabaret host Ping Pong Club Night, and tomorrow is one of those nights.

The deal: pay $3 cover and get yourself a racquet. Then there are 10 rounds of ping pong championships to be played, all boiling down to one winner who will get some pretty sweet prizes. Plus, you get to stick around for Glory Days for free afterwards!

This is what I walked into last Saturday night at Ping Pong Night.

I went and checked it out last week (this is the tough part of my job), and it was, truly, an awesome night. Doors are at 8pm for the ping pong, and I got there a little late (okay, it was 9:30), so the ping pong was already well under way, and racquets were in high demand.

The way it works is a round-the-world style game where everyone who’s playing stands in a circle around the table. The first person (whoever happens to be standing at the end of the table), hits the ball and then moves over, and the next person steps into place. Around and around it goes! You get eliminated if you miss, hit the net, hit out of bounds, or otherwise do something that would get your opponent a point in a regular game. The game continues until there is one champion for that round.

After ten rounds of round-the-world, the ten champions come back together for their game, playing with the same rules until one person is victorious!

Reasons why Ping Pong Night is a great event for Vancouver:

Number one: when was the last time you played ping pong? In high school gym class? In your grandparents’ basement? Golden opportunity to relive something youthful!

Number two: a little healthy competition makes everyone happier, and friendlier. I managed to get in there for one round, and right away I made friends with the people around me. People were chatting with strangers, not only in the round-robyn, but in the crowd observing the game too. Nothing like a little ping pong to break down social barriers and get people talking.

Number three: some people got all dressed up in crazy retro ping pong gear, and that’s just fun. Especially when they stick around for Glory Days afterwards and are mildly out of place (although, this is The Biltmore, so really, it would take a whole different aesthetic to be truly out of place.)

Ping Pong Night Club at The Biltmore
Saturday, Feb. 2nd at 8pm
$3 cover (includes racquet)
Stick around for Glory Days!

If you can’t make it tomorrow, check the schedule, staff informed me that it happens about once a month.