A music venue is bringing Pickleball back to Lake Oswego after the city closed the city’s only courts

Lake Oswego: A solution to your long-standing pickle ball crisis is looming.

The Garages Eatery & Taphouse, located on the LO side of Interstate 5 just a stone’s throw from Bridgeport Village, installed courts specifically for the tennis/ping pong hybrid in response to the closure of the city’s only other sports venue.

On Jan. 17, the Lake Oswego City Council voted 4-3 in favor of suspending the pickleball game at George Rogers Park after a flood of noise complaints from neighbors. Concerns that the acoustic landscape was littered with endless “jangles” began to surface last January, although the courts, which are now locked, have been in place since 2015.

After hours of comments from both noise-afflicted residents and pickleball enthusiasts who cited the importance of the health benefits of keeping the courts, the city council discussed reasonable mitigation and relocation options. They determined the most cost-effective option was to convert Westlake Park’s tennis facilities into pickleball courts and ordered the Parks and Recreation Department to begin a study on noise, parking, traffic and rehabilitation costs — a process that would leave Lake Oswegans without a special place for an indefinite pickle.

This is how a place known mostly for its live music seven days a week is likely to become a savior for the pickleball community.

Garages CEO and managing partner Kent Drangsholt, who moved the business from Beaverton to Lake Oswego in 2022, says he was approached by USA Pickleball Association ambassador Tom Weeden about saving pickles from extinction in Lake Oswego.

“As a businessman, when opportunity knocks, my wife and I analyze how to turn it into a successful venture,” says Drangsholt WW. “This one was easy to say yes to. Tom’s years of experience and expertise, lack of available courts, easy freeway access and affluent local neighborhoods in Lake Oswego, Tualatin, Tigard and West Linn mean the likelihood of success is high.”

The Garage courts, set to open in February, will be located in what is currently a sprawling backyard large enough for two full-size playing areas. A large, heated patio can also accommodate two dining courts. They will be open from 8am until the establishment closes for the evening, which is usually midnight. And paddlers can start or end their session with food and drink, including breakfast, at the bar.

Those wishing to participate can eventually become members of the club for a monthly fee. Benefits include price advantages when booking courts, as well as discounts on menu items and musical performances. Non-members may enter to play on a first-come, first-served basis and pay per hour. Pricing will be finalized at a later date, but will be competitive with other pickle facilities.

So, in the end, it could be a fairytale ending for Lake Oswego pickleball fanatics — whose ranks have grown exponentially in the past few years thanks to the ease of play — and the sport’s detractors. And that’s undoubtedly a win for At the Garages, a seemingly ever-expanding entertainment haven.

“Our customers know that we offer top-notch bands, weekly open mics and jam events, a corn hall, pool tables, party rentals, great food and drinks for adults,” adds Drangsholt. “With the addition of pickleball, we will promote our unique brand and serve our local community. Add in the TGSW Antiques & Collectibles Mall, which we launched 12 years ago, and you have the one-of-a-kind place people are looking for. A successful business solves customers’ needs, wants and desires, we strive to do this in as many ways as possible.’

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