The rumors about Susan Sarandon and fellow SPiN owner Jonathan Bricklin seemed like the stuff of a reality show. Though co-owner Will Horowitz says they’re incorrect (“they’re just [business] partners”), the Ping-Pong nightclub is getting a reality show of its own. Narrated by Sarandon and tentatively called The Magnus Effect, the show began filming last week with BBC America as the production company. The material will include two different narratives: one that follows the top junior players who compete at SPiN on a regular basis (including 15-year-old Michael Landers, the reigning U.S. men’s singles champion), and another that tracks Horowitz and his staff at Ducks Eatery as they send out dishes from a basement kitchen without any ventilation.
Horowitz, the chef at Ducks, uses a TurboChef (“essentially a $14,000 microwave”) to create offerings as varied as Korean Tacos (made with short rib braised in apple cider, dates, and soy sauce, with white miso, soybean aïoli, and housemade oyster kimchee), and bánh mì inspired by his travels throughout Southeast Asia (Horowitz grew up making the rounds on the professional junior Ping-Pong circuit before going to culinary school). There’s also traditional bar food like sliders and popcorn (the foie gras and burgundy-truffle version is $20), along with alcoholic ice pops.
SPiN has locations in Los Angeles (previewed in the next season of Entourage), Minnesota, St. Petersburg, Tokyo, and Moscow in the works, and a Ducks Eatery will be attached to each of them. Add to that, Horowitz tells us he has plans to open a place of his own — Ducks Mess Hall — on the Lower East Side, where bar food will take a back seat to “serious and authentic Pho and other more obscure pungent Southeast Asian soups.”