Pickle & Chill — a new entertainment and athletic facility — provides the first indoor courts solely dedicated to pickleball in Columbus to give locals a new way to stay active this winter.
With six indoor courts and five outdoor ones coming in the spring, Susan Weil, membership and program coordinator for Pickle & Chill, said she’s excited about Pickle & Chill’s location at 880 W. Henderson Road and how it has come together.
“It’s pretty exciting, because there are pickleball courts all over the city, and there are some indoor courts further north,” Weil said. “But this being so centrally located and just seeing it come together, with the way we have the murals on the wall, and everything and just really cleaned it up.”
Despite Columbus having multiple venues that offer pickleball, Weil said Pickle & Chill has courts made specifically for pickleball.
“People are really liking it. A lot of people play at parks, rec centers, usually on gym floors or tennis courts that have the lines put on them, and then they bring their own nets,” Weil said. “It’s not hard to play pickleball, but when you’re playing on a tennis court — and you have all those extra lines — you know, it just visually is a little bit more confusing.”
Weil said pickleball is an easy sport to learn, and those wanting to play can always find others to join them.
“You can always find somebody who’s worse than you, you can always find somebody who’s better than you,” Weil said. “I think that’s a really great thing about this sport, because there’s not very many things like that that you can do as an adult or really at any age that you can just always find somebody to play with.”
Weil said Pick & Chill offers individual memberships at $10 a month with an initiation fee of $89. She said members receive special offers and first chances for reservations.
Events at Pickle & Chill will go beyond open play, Weil said.
“We’re gonna have leagues after the first of the year, we have some clinics,” Weil said. “You can also just make a reservation to come play with your friends, and then you can also play as a non-member.”
David Seckel, head pro of facility and program developer, said for the first three months after opening in November, the venue will have plenty of learn-to-play opportunities.
“We’re looking to create more learn-to-play just to introduce people to the sport. You know, it’s kind of one of our main goals. It’s an easy sport to learn and to pick up pretty much anybody of any age, any athleticism can do it,” Seckel said.
Seckel said Pickle & Chill is welcome to all.
“It’s all skill levels, all ages, any gender, you know, it’s open to anybody,” Seckel said. “It’s literally, ‘Here are the rules, here’s what the court looks like, here’s what the paddles feel like, here’s how the balls bounce, here’s how to score, which is one of the harder parts, that way they can start the sport.’”
Seckel said the relaxed venue provides an open bar with seating, TVs and small snacks.
“The idea behind it right now is, you can go out, play for a while, and then after you’re done playing, you and your friends can go in, have a drink, hang out, watch some TV and hang out a little bit,” Seckel said.
Seckel said Pickle & Chill’s courts were Ohio State’s former varsity tennis courts.
“I used to come to Ohio State matches here and watch them, so it’s been really cool seeing the plans of the graffiti on the sides and how the courts would be laid out. The color schemes are pretty cool,” Seckel said.