The race to capture the pickleball-adjacent food-and-beverage market is on.
The parent of the Smash Park pickleball concept on Thursday said it has won a significant minority growth investment from private-equity firm DCA Partners to support a national expansion strategy.
The amount of the investment was not disclosed, but Smash Park Entertainment Group said the infusion will enable the company to accelerate plans to bring the indoor/outdoor eatertainment brand to more markets.
Based in both West Des Moines, Iowa, and Sacramento, Calif., Smash Park operates pickleball venues in West Des Moines and Pella, Iowa. Units are under construction in Minneapolis, Minn. (scheduled to open this fall), and Omaha, Neb. (scheduled to open in spring 2024).
Smash Park is one of a number of pickleball-focused concepts that have a restaurant and bar component. Said to be America’s fastest-growing sport, pickleball has become hugely popular across all age groups as a social activity that invites all-day food-and-drink service.
Other growing chains include Chicken N Pickle, Electric Pickle and the yet-to-debut Camp Pickle coming next year.
Founded in 2018, Smash Park combines pickleball with other recreation options, like axe-throwing, duckpin bowling, arcades and karaoke. Units are about 50,000-square feet and are positioned to be a draw for adults, families, groups and corporate events, with a from-scratch restaurant menu and bar.
“With two new locations under construction and additional sites identified, this investment by DCA Partners will be an instrumental part of our expansion plan and enable us to bring the unique Smash Park experience to more markets across the country,” said Monty Lockyear, co-founder and CEO of Smash Park, in a statement.
Craig Mitchell, a partner at DCA Partners, added in a statement that Smash Park offers a unique and differentiated dining and entertainment experience.
“The company is well positioned for substantial long-term growth and we are excited to work with the Smash Park team to support their continued success,” said Mitchell.
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