A new restaurant is coming to Fort Worth with what seems to be a new must-have accessory: pickleball. Called Courtside Kitchen, it'll be a massive indoor-outdoor space at 1615 Rogers Rd., near University Drive and I-30, and will be Fort Worth's first dedicated pickleball facility.
A release says it'll open in summer 2021.
Formerly the Mopac Event Center, it's a sprawling space with 7,500-plus square feet of indoor dining and 23,500-plus square feet of outdoor dining, plus:
- nine pickleball courts: seven outdoor courts and two covered courts
- lawn games like Cornhole and Texas-sized Connect 4
- live stage
- big-screen TVs
- outdoor beer garden
- fire pits
The menu will feature trendy dishes including poke bowls, Nashville-style hot chicken sandwiches, and flat iron chimichurri steak & fries.
The concept is from Executive Chef Christian Lehrmann, who has worked across DFW at Tinie's Mexican Cuisine, the Porch, and CBD Provisions, partnered with Matt L. Johnson, equity partner and owner/operator.
In a statement, Lehrmann says the food and beverage will be eclectic and interesting. "We want to provide items that you crave on a normal basis but reinvented in a new and fun way," he says.
On the bar side, Courtside Kitchen will serve playful and inventive craft cocktails, draft and local beers, wine, and lots of tequila.
Brunch will be served both Saturday and Sunday with a special menu and drink specials.
Pickleball is trending up because it's said to be easy to learn and players of all levels and generations can play. It's described as a combination between tennis and ping pong, and Courtside Kitchen is not the only pickleball facility in the works: Chicken N Pickle, a Kansas City-born chain that dubs itself the nation's leading pickleball-focused dining and entertainment venue, is opening an extremely similar location in Grand Prairie later in 2021.
There's already an organization called Fort Worth Pickleball, whose spokesman Zach Nichols says has hundreds of members.
"Pickleball has really taken Fort Worth by storm," Nichols says.