clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Sip a Scenic Spritz at the Watergate’s New Late-Night Pickleball Court

The historic hotel’s illuminated patio perk is open now through Labor Day

Play a match from dusk until late at Watergate’s new pickleball court.
Watergate Hotel
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

The Watergate hotel’s patio is teed up to capitalize on the latest U.S. sports craze this summer, complete with fruity cocktails in tennis ball-shaped mugs and bites themed around the badminton-like game of pickleball.

Bouncing balls look like lightning bugs at night.
Watergate Hotel

The free-to-play activation went live behind the iconic Foggy Bottom hotel’s Next Whisky Bar last week and runs through Labor Day. The public can book a pickleball slot on a first-come basis, and hotel guests can reserve the court at the front desk.

The court, open from 4:30 p.m. until as late as midnight, overlooks the Potomac and lights up at night, thanks to a glow-in-the-dark net, paddles, balls, and baseline tape. The raised garden terrace also screams summer with views of the Watergate complex’s circular swimming pool.

Watergate’s new pickleball court stays open until as late as midnight.
Watergate Hotel
Soak up sunset views of the Potomac while playing a match.
Watergate Hotel

After paddling up a sweat (or just watching from the sidelines), Watergate’s special new snacks do double duty as teachable moments. A falafel, covered in homemade tzatziki, is also a term for when a pickleball player paddles the ball without any power. The “Flapjack,” which refers to a ball’s mandatory bounce before it can be hit, features waffle batter-dipped chicken sausage with a powdered sugar dusting. A pickled cauliflower starter with yellow grape tomatoes resembles a racket and ball, plus “pickled” refers to when a team scores zero points. Each dish is $12, or try a sampler for $32. Circular treats ($3) include cake pops and scoops of sorbet or ice cream.

There’s also a list of wines and Chandon’s new Garden Spritz by the glass ($14) or bottle ($52). The featured bubbly brand also has an on-site spritz cart.

The $17 Sweet Spot cocktail (Midori melon liqueur, Heering cherry liqueur, and fresh lemon juice).
The Watergate’s new pickleball-themed menu.
The Watergate

D.C. continues to see a surge in spots that combine sports with drinking, from ax-throwing to ping-pong to golf bars, but the Watergate’s new summer feature is a first of its kind. Lots of local rec centers are already in on the pickleball boom, but this is the only dedicated D.C. court with a playful menu to match.

Hours follow that of the Next Whisky Bar (4:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m., Sunday to Wednesday, and Thursday, Friday, Saturday until midnight). Lessons are available via advanced booking with coach Zorano “Z” Tubo, one of the country’s top IPTA-certified Pickleball Teaching Professionals who’s taught top pros and national champions.