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'in the raw' sushi restaurant owners plan pickleball entertainment complex in Jenks

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Posted at 12:12 PM, May 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-12 11:35:47-04

JENKS, Okla. — The owners of several local locations of the sushi restaurant In the Raw are planning a big development in Jenks.

The 10-acre multi-use development will be a part of the future River District.

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Co-owner Greg Hughes said it will be the largest pickleball entertainment complex in the state so far, and it will be called — In a Pickle.

“The difference between our plan and other pickleball concepts is we’re going to be food-based rather than just pickleball and kind of not the best food," Hughes said.

Building In a Pickle presents a pickle of its own for Hughes and his co-owners. Much of the 10 acres of land sitting next to the Arkansas River will have to be raised with dirt to meet FEMA standards and avoid sitting in the flood plain. But Hughes said it will come with a fun payoff, especially for the outdoor portion of the complex.

“It will have live music. It will have lawn games, cornhole, ping pong, an area for dogs. It’s going to be a concept that welcomes everyone. It’s kind of like a little Disneyland for adults and kids of course. But it’s going to change so much.”

Visitors to the Jenks Riverwalk who 2 News spoke with Thursday immediately warmed up to the idea of another riverside attraction.

"That sounds great," Rachel Coulter said. "(Our relative) comes from Oregon and she plays lots of pickleball. So we would have a place to take her when she comes.”

"It sounds like it’s going to bring some new life to the area," Broken Arrow resident Gina Farcas said. "And especially with the pickleball area, it sounds like that will be something active for people in the community to do.”

"I think if it’s unique and it has a draw and it’s not like any other place, you definitely are going to be successful,” Riverwalk visitor Vickie Shaner added.

A Jenks Chamber of Commerce spokesperson confirmed 2 News a groundbreaking is planned for May 18. From there, Hughes expects the $12 million construction to last until late 2024.

"It’s up and coming. Jenks has always been a great city. And I think they’re doing a lot on the main street right now, and we’re glad to be a part of that," Hughes added.

"We’re really excited to be here in Jenks.”

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