Pop Up Shop Interview: 5 Questions with Pop Up Ping Pong

What is your pop-up history to date?

Pop Up Ping Pong has been in operation since the beginning of this year plotting our first pop up. Our launch event had such a great turnout with a classic American frat party vibe, people just turned out in their masses and made the most of what we had – Ping Pong tables, cheap booze, awesome street food burgers by #BRGR (www.hashtagbrgr.com) and shaped the party as much as we did to make it happen. So at one point we had people asking if they could put together some tables so they can set up a Beer Pong match, without knowing too much about the rules or the consequences we rustled up whatever we had in storage and put out a make shift table and watched the ants take over the ant hill! We’ve incorporated Beer Pong ever since as testament to our first customers and you can come to any of our pop ups now and see hulking crowds teeming over our dedicated tables complete with regulation markings. So that’s how the story goes, and we’ve been popping up and at ‘em ever since!

Why pop up?

*Rolls sleeves up* Pop Up is the way of the future. As I heard Daniel Young (www.youngandfoodish.com) pop up entrepreneur once say, and I quote, ‘pop up restaurants are restaurants with no walls’. This applies to any pop up business or art. We are obliged never to settle and always aspire to create a new experience for our customers. This agenda is simply dictated by the economics of having ‘no walls’. As a pop up you’re not burdened with the overheads of rents, gas, electricity, wages, but for the period in which you use your space. You are only committed to use your space as long as you wish and this gives us the freedom to create. It almost forces you to be artistic and ‘things to do’ in London are better for it!

Why did you decide to enter the Collective Competition?

This may sound a little evangelical but we thought with a high street location we could really do something special for that part of Camden High Street. We’ve spoken a little about this at Pop Up Ping Pong and we’ve always loved the idea of Camden. It’s a hotchpotch of what’s trendy and cool and there’s always something a little bit romantic about that. Problem is it’s not always been that accessible for the rest of us! Koko has been a shining beacon on one end of the high street in that respect. They always have something good on that you can see with friends or on a date but somewhere along the middle of the high street the buzz dwindles and we think we can add to it with a bit of sparkle. People often meet for the first time over a game of ping pong at our events and that’s quirky but we like it!

What can people expect to find in the Collective shop during your spot?

The PUPP Shack is a boutique-style ping-pong pop-up parlour featuring one Olympic-sized table combined with a street food diner offering dainty and delicious sliders by mini burger purveyors #BRGR. They use the finest ingredients, with their golden brioche buns sourced from Miller’s of Wimbledon and their grass-fed beef from The Ginger Pig butchers. A drinks bar will also be featured, with the legendary PUPP beer pong table (complete with regulation size and cup markings) making a stalwart appearance alongside it. Throughout the course of the four-day pop-up, expect events ranging from sporting competitions with prizes to ping-pong masterclasses and more.

How would you incorporate 300 bananas, 5 tons of golden syrup and 2 peacocks into a future pop up?

It would be a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory/Great Gatsby themed extravaganza no doubt!

Pop Up Shop Stories: Pop Up Ping Pong

Pop Up Shop Story #1 – Pop Up Ping Pong – Humble beginnings…

Nesma and Amin love ping pong.  They started sharing that passion with their local neighbourhood in London.  Other enthusiasts responded, and there’s now a series of Pop Up Ping Pong parties – complete with their own soundtrack.  They collaborate with London favourites #BRGR for epic burger pong nights…

 (This is being written to epic background music: Bloc Party – The Pioneers (M83 Remix))

Once upon a time, Nesma and Amin were super-competitive about Ping Pong.

Bats were thrown, tears were shed, but the love for the game grew stronger. As with any passion you want to share it and so we set about doing just that. Without any resources being obviously available to us we began to beg, borrow, wheel and deal!

And thus, we became Pop Up Ping Pong.

Pop Up Ping Pong Paddles

What we didn’t realise was that our humble beginnings were also our greatest strengths. Our local neighbourhood rallied around to lend us their unloved tables, a local landlord of a certain disused venue got in touch, and even our online followers contributed to our Collaborative Playlist on Spotify. We had ourselves a party!

Our passion has since turned into a business and our bricks and mortar competitors don’t let us forget it! They can take our Red Solo Cups, Beer Pong and Unlimited playtime – but they can never take away our freedom!

We are a party with no walls – no rents or wages. We are free to be original and create.

So we only have one thing to say to everyone: “POP UP!”

An Epic Burger Ping Pong Paddle

Pop Up Ping Pong is looking for a pop-up space in London.  [ Full details ]

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We Are Pop Up’s pop up shop stories tells stories from the community about popups, supperclubs, exibitions, and events.  Share yours…