WEST TOWN — There was really no place wherever within the metropolis like Mr. Flower and Mr. Ping Pong.
Ardy Taveerasert (who’s each Mr. Flower & Mr. Ping Pong) mentioned he closed down the ping pong membership/U-Haul rental/flower store at 1647 W. Chicago Ave. about three weeks in the past after a lease hike he and his spouse Ann couldn’t afford.
“The lease expired and so they want an excessive amount of cash,” Taveerasert mentioned. “I don’t make sufficient cash [to stay]. It’s time to maneuver on. Nothing lasts endlessly.”
Had he renewed his lease, Taveerasert mentioned the lease would have been double what he was paying when he first opened his retailer in 2010.
The distinctive store provided ping pong tables, rentable by the hour, together with flowers and presents within the entrance of the shop. U-Hauls had been for lease too, since Taveerasert additionally bought gently-used foosball and ping pong tables and people wanted a strategy to get them house. The one-of-a-kind enterprise was baffling to some passersby, main the Chicago Reader to characteristic it in a chunk titled “What the heck is this?”
The store additionally served as a venue for bands like Chicago-based Meat Wave.
An avid ping pong participant, teacher and founding father of the Chicago Slam Table Tennis Club, which practiced and competed at the back of the shop, Taveerasert mentioned he’s scouting out new areas and will reopen someplace else within the neighborhood.
The store will quickly be house to a brand new 24/7 Anytime Health location, Taveerasert mentioned.
Calls to Taveerasert’s landlord weren’t returned. Brandon Aguilar, a common supervisor at Anytime Health’ Wicker Park location, confirmed the gymnasium is shifting into the storefront.
Aguilar didn’t have a gap timeline. “We’re simply beginning the method,” he mentioned.
Peter Panagakis, co-owner of Cafe Six06, an all day cafe and Greek restaurant just a few doorways east of Mr. Flower & Mr. Ping Pong, mentioned he was “devastated” by the abrupt closure, which got here with none warning on June 30.
“I had a profitable streak of 33 straight video games in opposition to my pal. We went there on a regular basis. In the future we went there and there was an indication within the window, that was it,” Panagakis mentioned.
On Yelp, Mr. Flower & Mr. Ping Pong loved nearly all optimistic reviews.
“Everybody is aware of that table tennis, flowers, and rental vans go collectively like gin and vermouth or Christmas and seasonal despair. It is smart, then, that there could be a store on Chicago Avenue that mixes all three. Lastly!” wrote one reviewer.