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New restaurant serving up unique mix of pingpong, dining, drinks

Smash is Jacksonville's only table tennis-themed restaurant, bar

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A new restaurant is serving up a unique mix of pingpong, dining and drinks.

If you're looking for a fun way to wind down this weekend, try bouncing your way into Smash on the city's Southside.

It's Jacksonville's only pingpong-themed restaurant and bar. You can pick up a paddle, grab a ball then play, eat, drink and repeat.  

Devlin Cathey, the executive chef and general manager at Smash, said they're serving a bit of everything for everyone.

"We're really gone out of our way to make sure that everyone that would come here is catered for," Cathey told News4Jax this week. "If you just want to come play pingpong you can do that. But if you come to have a nice cocktail, you can do that too."

If table tennis isn't your thing, Cathey said you can still enjoy your time without even touching a Ping-Pong paddle. He's focused on the food and making sure it's not your typical American bistro.

"It's slightly uplifted and with me working in Europe and having grown up in Africa, there's a different flare to it, different flavor profile," Cathey said. "So I'd like people just to experiment a little bit and taste a little bit of everything."

The menu includes chicken wings, flatbreads, burgers and appetizers.

The 13,000-square-foot space features private rooms for large parties and 11 Ping-Pong tables for Jacksonville's growing interest in table tennis.

"It's actually bigger than I realized," Cathey said. "I've been to a few live tournaments and there's upwards of 50-60 people who take the game very seriously."

Skilled players can sign up for Smash's three leagues, with tournaments held every week. The restaurant's in-house pro also offers private coaching.

Smash is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. You can find it on the corner of Baymeadows Road and Philips Highway.