It used to be that a cool dive bar was only as good as its pool table, a ratty relic in a dimly lit back room with a menacing vibe served straight, no chaser. Post-Olympic fever has changed things. Pingpong, that “Whip it Good!” sport made popular by the Chinese, has spawned a new bar culture — one where the drinks are as bouncy as the balls that skiff across shiny, well-lit, green-topped tables. Grab a cocktail, then head to one of these places to create a racket:
Miami Beach, Fla.
New South Beach scenester bar with — count ’em — seven pingpong tables and a rentable VIP pong room.
1234 Washington Ave.
Lavaca Street Bar
Loved by locals for its Wednesday-night Pong Rock tournaments.
405 Lavaca St.
Only in the South can you play pingpong in a bar-issued choir robe. Monday nights here are especially biblical.
466 Edgewood Ave. SE
Actress Susan Sarandon is a co-owner and a frequent visitor, along with other just-hangin’ celebs.
48 E. 23rd St.
Props for free parking and pong; also boasts sleek leather barstools and banquettes — plus serious whiskey and craft beers.
2017 E. 7th St.