The first pickleball “entertainment” venue in Metro Atlanta opens in Gwinnett County

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By Jacob Jackson

Pickle & Social, a restaurant and bar, rooftop lounge, beer garden and sixteen indoor and outdoor courts, opens in Buford on December 7.

Having worked as a staff reporter and editor for Eater Atlanta for twelve years, Beth McKibben has covered food and cocktails both locally and beyond.

On Thursday, December 7, Buford witnessed the grand opening of Pickle and Social, introducing metro Atlanta to its first pickleball “eatertainment” venue. This unique venue, equipped with 16 indoor and outdoor courts, a restaurant and bar, a rooftop lounge, and a beer garden, is part of the Exchange at Gwinnett complex.

Pickle and Social is not just about pickleball; it also offers other games like corn hole, ping pong, and shuffleboard. The venue features a central green space adorned with TVs, fire pits, a beer garden, and a stage for live music performances. Chris Wolfe, a certified professional instructor, director, USA Pickleball ambassador, and the co-owner of the Atlanta Pickleball Association, is also part of the Pickle and Social team.

first pickleball entertainment venue
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The company behind the golf pickleball eatertainment venue Fairway Social and Alpharetta boutique bowling bar Roaring Social backs Pickle and Social. Plans are underway to open a second location in Alpharetta by 2025.

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Is Atlanta Finally Reaching Peak ‘Eatertainment’?

Pickleball, much like racquetball and jai alai in the 1980s, seems to be the latest recreational trend that combines sports with dining. This sport, which is similar to racquetball, merges elements of tennis, table tennis, and badminton. It can be played as singles or doubles on a court akin to a tennis court. According to the Association of Pickleball Professionals, over 36 million people played pickleball between 2021 and 2022. Several pickleball courts and venues have sprung up across Atlanta and the suburbs, many conveniently located near breweries and restaurants.

Justin Amick and William Stallworth, the owners of the Painted Pin and the Painted Duck, are set to open Painted Pickle at Armour Yards in Atlanta by the end of the year. Similar to Pickle and Social, Painted Pickle will feature eight indoor courts and one outdoor court, a clubhouse with a pro shop and professional instructor, a stage for live music, and will serve food and drinks. While there will be a fee to play pickleball, all other games at Painted Pickle, including darts, ping pong, shuffleboard, and a putting green, will be complimentary. Painted Pickle will also host live music and other performances on its stage.

first pickleball entertainment park
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Pickle and Social open daily, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Court reservations highly encouraged. Pickleball equipment rental available.

2925 Buford Drive, Buford.

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