KIND OF A BIG DILL

Massive pickleball entertainment complex charges into Austin suburb for first area location

Massive pickleball entertainment complex charges into Austin suburb

Electric Pickle rendering Austin
The Cedar Park Electric Pickle will be the first of three locations opening in the Austin area. Courtesy of Electric Pickle

Fans of the trendy paddleball sport known as pickleball are relishing the news that three pickleball-themed entertainment complexes are courting the Austin market.

Rockets & Pineapples LLC, a subsidiary of Eureka Restaurant Group (which maintains a Eureka location on East Sixth Street), will open its first Central Texas Electric Pickle location — essentially a pickleball-focused amusement park — in Cedar Park late next year, with two additional Austin-area Electric Pickle spots opening soon after.

The California-based hospitality company, in partnership with Austin-based ColinaWest Real Estate, will open the first Electric Pickle location in Texas at 580 Spanish Oak St. in Cedar Park.

Another Electric Pickle on Burnet Road and one in Bee Cave are on track to open in 2023.

The nearly 5-acre Cedar Park Electric Pickle park will include 12 pickleball courts; a cornhole gaming area; bocce ball courts; a large lawn for hosting live music, fitness classes, and group gatherings; and a two-story restaurant with an expansive patio and rooftop bar.

The 9,000-square foot farmhouse-fashioned restaurant, which will serve lunch and dinner daily and brunch and dinner on weekends, features a menu of “global comfort cuisine,” including Mexico City-inspired tacos, Neapolitan pizzas, Korean protein bowls, sandwiches, and backyard-style burgers.

And the eatery’s 50,000 square feet of outdoor patio space will likely be the perfect accompaniment to sipping a craft cocktail while contemplating the particulars of pickleball, which, by the way, is a universally approachable racket sport that calls to mind what would happen were badminton and ping pong to have a baby.

The Eureka folks note it’s the fastest-growing sport in the country, with the USA Pickleball Association claiming that in the past six years, the sport has mushroomed by 650 percent, mostly among players ages 21 to 50, making it an ideal activity for Austin’s youthful population.

“Pickleball’s popularity is skyrocketing throughout Central Texas, and we plan to elevate the playing experience by offering artisan food and drinks and other activities in an upscale club environment that is open to the public,” says Paul Frederick, Eureka co-founder. “Electric Pickle aims to be the Topgolf of pickleball, and Cedar Park is a perfect location due to the community’s proven enthusiasm for family-friendly, sports-themed entertainment.”

The Eureka Restaurant Group, which operates 25 American gastro-pub-themed Eureka eateries throughout the country, got the Electric Pickle concept rolling earlier this year, and has had Central Texas in its sights as a target market. As such, the company rallied to get ColinaWest managing partner David Kahn, a seasoned pickleball player, involved.

“Many people play pickleball primarily because it’s an activity they can easily enjoy with friends or family, but most facilities in Austin today don’t offer the opportunity to socialize before and after the game,” Kahn says. “We anticipate that Electric Pickle will become a hive of activity throughout the day, with baby boomers and families in the morning, professionals on lunch breaks, and young people in the evenings.”

In addition to the Central Texas locations, Eureka has five more Electric Pickle spots planned for the Frisco and Houston areas, as well as in Nevada and Arizona.

Upon opening, the Cedar Park Electric Pickle will operate seven days a week.