Fort Worth Gets its Own World Class Pickleball Center — Courtside Kitchen is Not Playing Around

C.hef Tim Love invested considerable time and money in reopening the MOPAC venue between University Boulevard and the railroad tracks at 1615 Rogers Road in Fort Worth. Then COVID swept in, putting most events on hold for a solid year. Now the spacious digs are being reinterpreted once again and will pop up later this summer with restaurants, games, and the growing sport of pickleballs.

Yes, pickleball.

In fact, the new Courtside Kitchen will have seven outdoor and two covered pickleball courts. It will offer more than 7,500 square feet of indoor space and more than 23,500 square feet of outdoor dining, entertainment, and family fun. Fort Worth’s first proprietary pickleball facility is located here.

“As America’s fastest growing sport, Pickleball has really taken Fort Worth by storm,” said Zach Nichols, Fort Worth Pickleball league coordinator. “We have over 200 players playing in the women’s and mixed leagues this spring and it’s only our first season.”

Seven outdoor pickleball courts in the Courtside Kitchen. Rendered by Michael Gibson.

Often described as a combination of tennis and table tennis, the game is played with paddles instead of rackets, filled with fast-paced action, and played on a smaller court. It’s great fun and has a funny name, but pickleball is no laughing matter. It’s also a real sport with real sponsors and big tournaments.

Little known fact. . . Scott Moore, the six-time three-time crown winner and the world’s leading male pickleball player, grew up here in Fort Worth. He is a member of the Paddletek team. On the racetrack they simply call him “The Beast”. Positive proof that real men play pickleball.

However, if you’re not ready to play pickleball, Courtside Kitchen also has ample TVs for watching sports, as well as lawn games like cornhole and a Texas-sized Connect 4 to keep you moving.

The food and drinks are orchestrated by a familiar face – head chef Christian Lehrmann. Lehrmann remains partner at NLD Hospitality with Sarah Castillo. They are behind Taco Heads, Tinies Mexican Cuisine and the new Side Saddle Saloon. Lehrmann also compiled the menus at The Porch and CBD Provisions at the Joule Hotel in Dallas.

An illustration of the interior in the new Courtside Kitchen. Rendered by Michael Gibson.

Lehrmann’s Courtside Kitchen menu ranges from poke bowls to hot Nashville-style chicken sandwiches, flat iron chimichurri steak, and french fries.

“We want to offer items that you normally long for, but that have been reinvented in new and entertaining ways,” says Lehrmann. “Both the menu and the drinks menu will be varied and interesting. Everyone will enjoy having fun with us. “

The Courtside Kitchen also serves craft cocktails, a wide selection of draft and local beers, and an extensive wine and tequila list. On Saturdays and Sundays, the chef-inspired brunch starters and specialty drinks are offered. The outdoor beer garden is draped with garland lights for ambience.

“All I know is that Fort Worth loves to have a great time. We saw the need for a fun and exciting place where people could be active and social at the same time, ”said Matt L. Johnson, equity partner and owner / operator of Courtside Kitchen, in a statement. “Courtside Kitchen will be unique in a way that only Fort Worth can be. It will be a lively and fun place to bring your family, meet your friends after work, or even exercise. “

This summer the ball will be in your field. Pickleball anyone?

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