Padel (it’s a sport!) club to open in Brooklyn warehouse

Restaurateur signs 30K sf lease on Kent Avenue in Williamsburg

Santiago Gomez, co-founder of restaurants Cosme and ATLA, in front of 307 Kent Avenue (Cosme, LoopNet, iStock)
Santiago Gomez, co-founder of restaurants Cosme and ATLA, in front of 307 Kent Avenue (Cosme, LoopNet, iStock)

The city’s first “padel” club will open in a 30,000-square-foot Williamsburg warehouse next year.

No, it’s not spelled wrong. And padel is not paddle tennis or pickleball. It is, however, a fast-growing sport that fans say is fun and easy to play.

But in case that’s not enough to make the Brooklyn business viable at 307 Kent Avenue, the club will have a restaurant, too.

The facility, to be called Padel Haus, is the brainchild of Santiago Gomez, who is the co-founder of the Mexican restaurants Cosme and ATLA. A 10-year lease has been signed for the space.

The tenant was represented by Brandon Singer, chief executive officer and co-founder of Retail by MONA, along with co-founder and director Michael Cody.

The one-story warehouse, at the corner of North 3rd Street, is directly across Kent Avenue from Two Trees Management’s Domino Sugar megaproject. Discovery Channel’s lease at the property is up at the end of the year.

Controlled by Louis Silverman’s G4 Capital Partners, an early Williamsburg investor, the building was represented in the padel club deal by Larry Smith, executive vice president of Sholom & Zuckerbrot.

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The asking rent for the retail space was $60 per square foot and the deal was finalized at “less than that,” a source said.
Padel was invented in 1969 in Mexico, and the club’s eatery will be a Mexican restaurant helmed by Gomez.

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According to Singer, Gomez’s Cosme is the most popular Mexican restaurant in the United States (although the Harris Poll gives that honor to Taco Bell, which is No. 1 in sales and locations).

“We were thrilled to lend a hand to him and the Padel Haus team to bring this unique concept to Williamsburg,” Singer said in a statement.

Padel is a combination of squash and tennis and by some accounts is the fastest growing sport in the world. It started by chance when Viviana Dellavedova Corcuera told her husband she wouldn’t go to their new holiday house set on a cliff in Acapulco unless she could play tennis. Her husband, Enrique Corcuera, ended up building a smaller court with walls so the balls wouldn’t fall into the sea, and brought her wooden paddle tennis racquets with many holes (for aerodynamics).

Their original rules form the basis for the sport today. Padel is almost always played as doubles and because the court is 25 percent smaller than a tennis court and has walls, it is easy to maintain rallies, retrieve wayward balls and have conversations. Aficionados say it’s simple to play, but hard to play well.

According to the International Padel Federation, 18 million people now enjoy the sport in 90 countries.