With the pickleball craze sweeping the country, new courts have popped up all over Chicago. From new courts in Grant Park courtesy of Lollapalooza to Big City Pickle’s continued expansion creating courts in Fulton Market, Goose Island, and Gold Coast, pickleball is becoming more and more accessible across the city.
One impending problem, however, is playing when inevitable winter weather starts becoming disruptive. With the majority of courts situated outdoors, getting a slot will become even more competitive than it already is once unsheltered courts are affected by unforgiving rain or the godforsaken Midwestern snow.
Luckily, the new “Social Pickleball Fun” is about to offer a winter solution to Lincoln Park residents with the creation of a new beach-themed indoor pickleball center.
Set up by four friends from Lincoln Park, Social Pickleball Fun will open this winter offering a 40,000-square-foot facility with an indoor turf field, a restaurant, a coffee shop, nine indoor pickleball courts, and luxurious locker rooms complete with saunas and showers.
In addition to providing official-sized indoor courts to those wishing to swing their paddles through winter, players can also enjoy instant replay technology ensuring big points between competitors are called correctly but also providing the opportunity to share clips on social media.
Pickleball lessons and exercise programs will be available through Toss & Spin and there will also be after-school and weekend classes available for children ages between 3 and 11.
While lessons, courts, and some amenities will need to be reserved and paid for in advance, the general public can access the center for free and enjoy food and drinks from the center’s all-day eatery and coffee shop year-round.
Partnering with Honey Butter Chicken and Kikwetu Coffee, Social Pickleball Fun will offer refreshments and snacks from two fantastic local brands.
Avondale’s Honey Butter Fried Chicken will provide guests with locally sourced, moderately priced breakfast, lunch, and dinner options while family-owned Kikwetu Coffee brings high-quality Kenyan-born-Chicago-made coffee to the new Lincoln Park center.
According to Co-founder Richard Green, who set up Social Pickleball Fun alongside his wife Lisa Rella, and the couple’s two friends, David Galst and Chris Boston, the aim is to create an all-weather haven for pickleball enthusiasts while also offering somewhere that “gives beach vibes year-round”.
This winter the space will open offering pickleball courts and lessons, alongside its café and coffee bar from Honey Butter Chicken and Kikwetu Coffee, though the team plan to expand in 2024 with additional dining options, more pickleball courts, and games like ping-pong, cornhole and bocce.
Social Pickleball Fun will be located at 2121 N. Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60614.
More information can be found at www.playspf.com.
[Featured image courtesy of Social Pickleball Fun]