A Midwest Restaurant with a Denver Twist
Chicken N’ Pickle, a Kansas City-based restaurant and pickleball venue, is expanding its reach to Colorado. The company plans to open its first two locations in Parker and Thornton next year. With a love for Denver and a desire to bring their Midwest values to the Mile High City, Chicken N’ Pickle is excited to integrate into the active lifestyle that Denver offers.
Creating the Perfect Space
Founded by Dave Johnson in 2016, Chicken N’ Pickle has acquired 1.5 acres of land within the 14.5-acre Gatherings at Parker development at the intersection of North Jordan Road and E-470. Additionally, the company has purchased three acres in Thornton’s The Grove business and shopping center at the intersection of I-25 and 144th Avenue. With spacious plans in mind, Chicken N’ Pickle aims to construct multi-level complexes that will feature six indoor courts and two covered outdoor courts.
Image: A rendering of Chicken N’ Pickle’s Parker location (Provided by Yaeger Architecture)
The company’s goal is to break ground on these exciting projects sometime this year, with a projected opening in 2024. Kelli Alldredge, President of Chicken N’ Pickle, expresses enthusiasm for the Denver market and hints at the possibility of expanding beyond Parker and Thornton. According to Alldredge, both cities have been incredibly welcoming and cooperative, making them ideal locations to start the Colorado journey. Chicken N’ Pickle prides itself on being a family-friendly establishment and aims to be where families gather. Considering the space required for their concept, finding the right location is crucial.
A Surging Sport: Pickleball’s Popularity
Pickleball, a lively blend of tennis and ping-pong, has taken the United States by storm, earning the title of America’s fastest-growing sport. Recently, the Sports and Fitness Industry Association reported that pickleball saw a surge in participation, with 8.9 million people playing in 2022, almost double the previous year. Chicken N’ Pickle is delighted to offer pickleball enthusiasts the opportunity to rent their courts for various occasions, from family events to corporate gatherings or simply a fun-filled afternoon with friends. Prices for hour-long blocks range from $30 to $45.
Image: Chicken N’ Pickle’s menu features a variety of shareables to refuel after a spirited game of pickleball. (Photo by Kevin McCabe for Chicken N’ Pickle)
A Simple Concept: Food and Community
Aside from the sporting aspect, Chicken N’ Pickle offers a menu encompassing wood-fired rotisserie chicken, hot fried chicken, grilled chicken, country fried chicken, burgers, salads, and appetizers. The company’s focus is providing a casual and welcoming environment where people can put aside their cell phones and engage in genuine human connection and community.
Chicken N’ Pickle already boasts seven locations across Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, with six more in development, including spots in Arizona, Nevada, Indiana, and now, Colorado. There are no limits to their aspirations.
Chicken N’ Pickle Isn’t Alone
Chicken N’ Pickle isn’t the only establishment capitalizing on Colorado’s pickleball craze. Pickleball Food Pub opened in Westminster last year, and Robert Thompson, founder of Punch Bowl Social, has plans to launch Camp Pickle in Centennial next year. Camp Pickle will feature a 70,000-square-foot facility with 14 indoor and outdoor courts.
While Colorado is home to many pickleball enthusiasts, some cities have faced noise-related concerns. Centennial, for example, has implemented a six-month moratorium on the construction of new outdoor pickleball courts in order to evaluate potential noise complaints and strategies to minimize them. Additionally, the city of Denver recently discontinued pickleball play at Congress Park due to noise disturbances.
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