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Berlin-inspired student ping pong bar

At Dupong in Copenhagen you can combine a night out with a social game of ping pong. With inspiration from Berlin, four students have started their own ping pong bar. With success

A roar breaks through the music at Dupong, a bar in Nørrebro, Copenhagen. It is midnight on a Friday night, and you’d be forgiven for reacting with a wince, but the fight that has just been resolved is wholly positive (… for the winner, that is).

Because at Dupong, things are settled in the grand arena of ping pong.

Another round of ’round-the-table’ ensues, and people rush to the table with bats, beer and hopes of being the proud owner of an impressive backhand.

Taking action

Dupong’s combination of booze and ping pong is one of the first of its kind in Copenhagen. The concept, however, is well known in Berlin, where Dr. Pong has become something of an institution. Now ping pong aficionados can live the ping pong dream in the Danish capital too – thanks to four students: the brains behind Dupong.

One of the aforementioned brains, Carl Christian Illum, completed his studies in Law at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) during the bar’s first few months. He tells us about the project, while handing out beer and bats over the bar counter in a steady stream.

»All of us have been to Dr. Pong in Berlin, and like many before us, we talked about Copenhagen needing a place like it. But it wasn’t until my girlfriend and I were on a student exchange in Edinburgh that the idea really took off. We asked each other ‘why not do something about it?’. And so we did.«

Romance and round-the-table

The UCPH couple and two of their friends, who joined the ping pong wagon, spent a year to get everything ready, and Dupong was finally ready to open its doors in July 2012. Tonight it’s pretty crammed around the ping pong table, and full up in the bar’s table-football basement too. And that’s been the case since Day 1, says Carl Christian Illum.

»The bar appeals to a lot of different people. Of course we have a lot of students and young people, but not exclusively so. And we have guests from all over the world. I think nostalgia has a lot to do with it – ping pong reminds us of our free time when we were kids.«

»And there’s just something about ping pong that generates a positive atmosphere. Everyone plays with everyone, and that means that you feel welcome. It’s a good way to meet new people, and it creates a natural alternative to just sitting around a table and talking with your friends.«

So ’round-the-table’ is a good hook-up game?

»Well, we have seen some ‘sparks fly’ here since our opening night.«

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