For most people, the words "Ball Pool Bar Dive" probably evoke images of a dive bar with sticky pool tables.
But in Osaka, Japan, it signifies something completely different. It's a concept that combines the ball pits of your youth, the dive bars of your adult life, and all of the Japanese theatricality you might expect from such an undertaking.
Sure, a ball pit bar pop-up opened in San Francisco for two days last March, but Ball Pool Bar Dive ain't no pop-up—it's the real deal. No table, no chairs, just 20,000 balls of nostalgia for patrons to float in while they pound all-you-can-drink alcohol for 60- and 90-minute rates.
Obviously, giving people unlimited alcohol for short periods is always a perilous proposition, and the owners of Ball Pool Bar Dive are apparently mindful of that, serving said unlimited drinks with air-tight caps on top to avoid spillage.
友達がボールプールBARオープンしました? 子供のころはよおはいってたけど今じゃはいられんけどここならはいれるよ? テレビ取材もされるみたいやからみんないかなあかんよ??
But how do you avoid patrons barfing all over the multicolored orbs? That's a little more complicated, and the bottom line is that you can never guarantee a vomit-free zone, especially where limited time and unlimited alcohol are concerned.
But these aren't the only hygienic concerns here. Anyone who accurately remembers the Chuck E. Cheese and McDonald's ball pits of their youth will recall the perma-mucuousy feel of the balls, as well as probably coming down with some kind of illness after romping around in the three-dimensional rainbow for a few minutes. In fact, a few years ago, CBS News investigated these dens of filth and found them to be rife with germs that can cause "meningitis, food-borne illness, skin, hair, eye infections […] several of which are multi-drug resistant and potentially fatal." Nice!
Still, it's hard to shit on the concept of Ball Pool Bar Dive, since everybody who enters seems to be having a genuinely great time. Plus, alcohol kills most germs, right? RIGHT?!