Pickleball and Pizza? A Soon-to-Open Restaurant Will Offer Both
Picklers will soon have a place to play their favorite sport and grab a bite to eat -- all under one roof.
Pickle Haus, a pickleball-themed restaurant complete with 12 indoor playing courts, is set to open along Randall Road in Algonquin this November.
"Our vision for Pickle Haus is to provide a pickleball-focused entertainment experience that is unmatched in the industry," said Graham Palmer, managing partner of Hubbard Street Group, a Chicago real estate developer.
Hubbard Street Group is partnering with College Park Athletic Clubs, which owns various tennis clubs, to create Pickle Haus.
Eventually, the group plans to have five locations.
Created in 1965, pickleball has gained in popularity in recent years and has become the fastest-growing sport in the country. A 2023 Sports & Fitness Industry in Association report showed the sport had more than 8.9 million participants, up from 4.8 million in 2022.
In 2019, USA Pickleball, the governing agency for the sport, listed 8,000 pickleball courts on its Places2Play site, noting that an average of 110 courts were being added monthly.
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"We're really excited to bring this to Chicago," said Jeff VanDixhorn, owner of College Park Athletic Club.
Though once thought as a sport for older adults, VanDixhorn said his two children got into the sport and formed a club two years ago at their college campus. The club now has more than 700 members and has participated in a national collegiate tournament.
VanDixhorn says picklers will find Pickle Haus similar to Top Golf or Pin Stripes, both suburban venues that offer a sports experience in a restaurant. Hubbard Street Group has owned the building at 1621 S. Randall Road since 2018 and had initially planned to lease it to a fitness center chain. But those plans never materialized due to the pandemic.
The 41,000-square-foot building, formerly a furniture store, will be transformed into an "eatertainment" destination. In addition to a restaurant and 12 pickleball courts, Pickle Haus will include three golf simulators, a bar and event space, and an outdoor patio.
Five of the pickleball courts will feature courtside cabanas for smaller parties and food service. A website, picklehaus.com, explains the features.
The restaurant menu was created by Sheamus Feely, a featured chef at the James Beard House and a prior participant in the James Beard celebrity chef tour.
"We've carefully designed an experience and are creating a vibe that will make Pickle Haus a go-to entertainment destination for the entire area," VanDixhorn said.