Pickleball and self-pour beer taps are making their way to Maple Grove.
Pints and Paddle, a 40,000-square-foot venue with self-pour beer, food from Malone’s Bar and Grill and 10 indoor pickleball courts, is projected to come to Maple Grove this fall.
Whether you are an avid pickleball player, you’ve recently picked up the hobby or you’ve always wanted to try the sport but never had the chance, Pints and Paddle is geared toward every level of pickleball player. With 10 indoor courts and two self-pour beer walls, one on the main level and the other on the mezzanine, there’s plenty of space for both playing and pouring.
Along with being inclusive to every type of pickleball player, the venue will cater to different drink preferences. The self-pour tap walls will have beer (both local and domestic), cocktails, seltzers and wine. Menu items from Malone’s Bar and Grill will be prepared and served in-house for post-match fuel ups.
“The goal is to bring more traffic to Maple Grove, as well as provide entertainment to residents,” says assistant community and economic development director Brett Angell. “We’re wanting to bring experiential business to the city.”
According to Angell, the current plan for the building includes a two-level seating area with a taproom and restaurant. There are also plans to include an outdoor patio, a mezzanine overlooking the pickleball courts and private rooms that can be rented for parties and gatherings.
Tim Skaja, part owner of Pints and Paddle, hopes that the venue will appeal to all ages and all types of pickleball players from recreational to league and tournament players. “… It’s a very social activity,” says part owner Tammy Skaja. “You can make it as competitive or as casual as you want.”
The inspiration for Pints and Paddle was sparked while the husband and wife duo were traveling in the South, where pickleball is already an established and popular sport. On this trip, the Skajas played pickleball and enjoyed a post-game beer at a nearby brewery. They realized they could create a venue that has the best of both of these worlds: Pints and Paddle.
“We thought that this is really something we should bring to Minnesota,” Tim says. “It would need to be an indoor venue, so people can play all year long. We’re long-time Maple Grove residents, so we really wanted to make it happen here.”
Although pickleball has a reputation of being a sport for senior citizens, its reputation and demographic has shifted. In the last several years, it has proven to be a sport for all ages. “Youth are playing more now,” Tim says. “Our target audience is really all ages.”
According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, pickleball is America’s fastest growing sport. In just two years (2019 to 2021), participation in the sport grew by nearly 40 percent. With 4.8 million Americans playing the sport and approximately 35,000 pickleball courts across the country, its popularity continues to grow.
“When you play pickleball, it can be younger people playing with older people, women and men can play together,” Tammy says. “It’s a fun and easy group or date night activity.”
Along with the Skajas, there are five other owners involved in the opening of Pints and Paddle, including Christy and Eric Mesenburg, Linsey and AJ Stevens and Nastar Motlagh.