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November 08, 2017

Philly bar with ball pits is amazing idea, doesn't go far enough

Attention, Philadelphia adults who see the only upside to growing up is being old enough to legally consume alcohol: We have big news.

Multiple media reports say Avram Hornik of FCM Hospitality plans on converting the former OTB Turf Club below 1635 Market St. into an underground bar with a working name of “Concourse” and a tentative debut date of this January.

Hornik, who already owns and operates several popular Philly bars like Morgan’s Pier, has one big feature planned for the establishment: ball pits.

Per BillyPenn:

And the ball pits. Apparently adult ball pits are having a moment right now, trending on the West Coast and in the UK. Hornik envisions two for Concourse: One that’s a full body pit in the back game room, which will also be home to classic video games like Pac-Man, and one next to the dance floor that’s knee-height, so you can still move to the music while wading through.

That front pit will also be right next to the entrance — which will be a slide.

There’s always the chance the architects might come back with a buzzkill, but as of now, plans call for turning the escalator part of the entranceway (which is actually between Market and JFK) into a slope people will use to swoosh their way two stories down into the bar.

This is taking the whole "doing kids things while consuming alcohol" to a previously unimaginable level. Move the heck over, Barcade! In fact, my only issue is that the ball pit bar doesn't go far enough.

To the forthcoming bar's management, who I assume is reading this as the result of google alerts set up by a marketing employee, here are some ideas on how to crank your bar up to 11:

 Tipsy Trampoline: You jump on a giant trampoline as a bar staff member fires jello shots at you with the giant cannon used to shoot hot dogs at Phillies game, mercilessly pelting you over and over again as you try to catch as many as you can in your mouth.

Real Fishbowls: "Fishbowls" are pretty popular at clubs and bars these days — customers get a giant bowl of fruity alcohol and several straws for their friends. At this bar, one in every 100 "fishbowls" is an actual bowl filled with water and a goldfish, just like the cheap pets you won at the fair as a kid. It is your decision whether to consume the bowl's contents or bring it home and care for the fish.

Shots of Slime: Do you guys remember slime, like from Nickelodeon, from the 1990s decade? Oh man, I sure love the 90s, just like all of you! Anyway, how about we mix some of that toxic goop with some vodka and serve them as slime shots? You can even shoot them at people on the trampoline with the hot dog cannon, bombarding patrons with enough nostalgia that they'd even consider watching this flaming pile of trash.

Arcade: This is an already done, previously mentioned idea that I'm recycling to fill space in this piece of content. Oh wait, they're already planning on having "classic video games like Pac-Man?" Guess I'm not the unoriginal one, huh?

School Cafeteria: Instead of the usual bar food fare — wings, burgers, fries, etc. — have a replica school cafeteria section, complete with folding tables, uncomfortable chairs and cuisine of questionable quality. Everyone will hate it.

Timeout: Sit in a corner alone for 30 minutes and speak to no one while you sober up before leaving. Here you will realize a child's torture is an adult's fantasy.

Mr. Hornik, please email me for my Venmo name if you use any of these ideas.