Pickleball is heating up in Charlotte, with a new food meets sport concept coming to LoSo in June.
What’s happening: Rally Entertainment will open, an urban pickleball and entertainment experience, in Charlotte at the corner of Old Pineville Road and Southside Drive.
Driving the news: Rally, which will include a full-service restaurant, recently hired their executive chef, Cory Chunn, who was on Top Chef. He was previously the executive chef at La Belle Helene.
- The menu will be inspired by global street food and designed by an award-winning hospitality team based out of Washington D.C. Expect premium signature cocktails, plus twists on local and international classics.
- There will be two cocktail bars, private and semi-private event spaces, plus lounge and spectator seating.
Details: Rally will span two buildings over 1.9 acres, with 27,650 square feet of indoor space.
- There will be eight pickleball courts: four indoor and four outdoor.
Context: Barrett Worthington, a Davidson College alumnus, and Megan Charity co-founded Rally. Charity, a world-ranked professional pickleball player, will lead their pickleball program, which will include events, social leagues and tournaments.
Why it matters: Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the nation, with 4.8 million players, which comes with more places to play, but it’s not just about seeing neighborhood courts pop up. Pickleball is good for business.
- Plus Charlotte is familiar with restaurants combining drinks, food and sport, like golf concepts Topgolf, Puttery and Stroke. Pickleball is up next.
What they’re saying: “What’s so incredible about this game is that literally anyone can step onto a court and have a fun, competitive game their first time out,” Charity said in a statement. “But we’re designing Rally to be about so much more than pickleball. We’ve got a top-notch culinary program that will be a draw in and of itself.”
- “We knew it would be the perfect place to launch the Rally brand and can’t wait to open in such a buzzworthy neighborhood as LoSo,” Worthington said in a statement.
What’s next: Charlotte will be Rally’s first location, which they plan to expand to cities across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast in the coming years.
My thought bubble: Since I initially wrote about pickleball’s rise, it’s been everywhere. I’ve even watched it on Hulu!
Of note: Liles Construction is the general contractor for the Rally. Redline Design Group is the architect. DPR is overseeing landscape design. Strata Project Management Group is leading project management. Lat Purser & Associates’ James Craig represented Rally in the leasing transaction.