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Chicken N Pickle serves a no-tech, backyard vibe; Here's why it's paying off with Texas, national expansion

February 19, 2024

Chicken N Pickle serves a no-tech, backyard vibe; Here's why it's paying off with Texas, national expansion
By: Nikki Overfelt Chifalu

North Kansas City-founded Chicken N Pickle now has 10 locations — with six more in the works — but the award-winning entertainment destination remains committed to fostering human connection through simple spaces where everyone can play, said Kelli Alldredge.

And disconnect.

“We don’t have computers on the property. You don’t order from an iPad,” said Alldredge, president of Chicken N Pickle. “We really are very intentional about creating a space where people come in and detach from technology and I think it’s something the world’s craving, whether we know it or not. But I do think that plays a part in our fast growth.”

“It really is surreal,” she continued. “And it’s been so fun to see it grow so fast.”

The brand is just scratching the surface of Chicken N Pickle’s potential, Alldredge added.

Offering pickleball, a unique and varied menu, lawn games, live music, and fundraiser opportunities, the business is opening its newest location this month in Webster, Texas — the fourth in Texas, but its first in the Houston area.

Chicken N Pickle’s leadership team is learning Texas is a great place for the business to thrive, Alldredge said, noting they opened a second headquarters in Dallas. 

“People are very social in Texas,” she explained. “The weather works in our favor, too. We have so much indoor space, but at the core people still kind of equate us to an indoor/outdoor venue. So that warmer climate has been a great fit for us.”

Chicken N Pickle — which first expanded outside of the Kansas City area in 2018 with its Wichita location — has two more locations slated to open later this year, Alldredge shared. One will open in Henderson, Nevada, outside of Las Vegas — which will be the farthest location from Kansas City — and one in Allen, Texas, their third location in the Dallas area.

“We are a family friendly venue, so we are drawn to more family friendly areas versus like the urban core,” she explained. “We do need a lot of space. So that does kind of dictate where we go in cities. We’d love to go to some of these larger cities, but they don’t have the space we need for our footprint.” 

In 2025, Alldredge said, the entertainment destination plans to launch locations in Fishers, Indiana; Omaha, Nebraska; and two in the Denver area (Parker and Thornton).

“We feel like we are not just a restaurant or not just a pickleball facility,” she continued. “We are really this inclusive property and we want to be the coolest backyard you’ve ever been to. That’s what we want to bring into these communities.”

Chicken N Pickle prides itself on investing in the communities it serves — with its “our hearts are local” slogan — and Alldredge said that they connect with nonprofits in all of the locations they move into through their full-time community impact coordinator.

“We don’t want to feel like a Kansas City business opening up in Las Vegas; we want to feel local,” she continued. “We want to connect with the community. We want to host fundraisers. We love to donate space out.”

Alldredge noted they are especially passionate about making each location as welcoming as possible.

“We want to make sure people know there’s something for everyone,” she explained. “Come hang out, be casual. Come in your sneakers, don’t dress up, hang out for hours. We have a lot of free games. Cornhole is free. Jenga is free. We have life-size Battleship. Just come hang. We want that backyard feel.”

Chicken N Pickle also sports wheelchairs at each location and can make accommodations for those who are neurodivergent that might need dimmer lights and music, a different ball, or empty courts next to them, Alldredge noted.

“We just want to be this place where everyone can come and enjoy,” she added. “I think that’s what drives us. Anyone can play pickleball. Even if we have to tweak the lights or the ball or the music, we’re going to make it work.”

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