RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Pickleball, a new sport catching on in the city of Richmond will soon make its way to a bar in the Manchester neighborhood.
With more than 40 courts already in the state’s capital, a new Pickleball bar is on the horizon in RVA. But what exactly is Pickleball? Some say its a mix of tennis, ping-pong, and badminton. Typically played between four people, the game is still a mystery to many.
“I don’t really know too much about pickleball,” said one local when asked if they’ve heard of the new game. “I’ve never heard about it until now.”
With game-filled bars of all sorts popping up throughout Richmond, the Manchester neighborhood looks to join in on the movement by welcoming the state’s first PickleBall bar named “Rally.”
“It’s a social sport and it’s really taking off in the Richmond area,” a pickleball player told 8News.
The 43,000 square-feet facility will house eight Pickleball courts, along with a “restaurant, beergarden, a cafe and juice bar, collaborate workspace for the day, (and) rooftop bar with event space sprinkled throughout,” according to Rally co-founder Barrett Worthington.
Rally co-founders Worthington and Megan Charity run Pickleball tournaments in Charlottesville. Both feel the Manchester neighborhood is the perfect place to bring the bar and game to light.
“There’s a ton of growth, you’re seeing apartments going up left, right, and center there but it’s sort of a food desert, an entertainment desert, so we wanted to be sort of a force to come in and give people something to do,” Worthington said.
Some members of the Chesterfield County Pickleball team told 8News they can’t wait to welcome the new game bar with open arms.
“As much as we love our outdoor parks, to have a dedicated facility that’s being run as a business? It’s a really exciting opportunity.”
The restaurant and bar will be run by two Richmond restaurant owners, chef Jason Alley and Michele Jones, who brought Richmond hot stops like Bingo in Scotts Addition and Comfort to the city.
Once built, the 8 indoor courts will be available to rent out, Worthington added. Each four-person court will likely cost $40 for every hour of gameplay.
Organizers plan to break ground on the facility in 2020 and hope to open the game bar within a year.