Bring your volley close to the kitchen
A pickleball restaurant is opening soon near you
There are plenty of sports that reserve their inner sancta for players who’ve invested thousands of dollars in equipment and devoted years to practice.
Then there’s pickleball, in which being a serious player just means telling people within minutes of meeting them that pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the country. Extra points for mentioning that the game has a shallow learning curve.
From my spot on the court at Fifty West Brewing Company, I might not have guessed that more than 50,000 Americans are card-carrying members of USA Pickleball. But I could vouch for the simplicity of the sport, which is closer in spirit to life-size ping pong than tennis. Picklers use paddles, and they’re not allowed to deploy an overhead serve—or just about any other maneuver that would strain a six-year-old girl or her arthritic grandpa.
In fact, once we got a rally going, my biggest challenge was not tripping on a half-eaten crinkle cut fry.
At this point, there aren’t any pickleball restaurants in the Southeast: I had to cross the Ohio border to experience a pickleball venue with an elaborate food menu. But the region’s landscape is on the cusp of a major shift, with pickleball restaurants under development in cities including Charlotte, Atlanta, and Wilmington.
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