After being open for six weeks, owners Mitchell and Sidney Elofson are working on keeping everything running smoothly at their new Picklebarn on the east edge of Mankato. “There’s always some little things, but no major issues,” Mitchell said. “It’s going well. Every day we get new faces coming in, which is nice to see.”
Sidney said it was a long road to get their business open. Construction started in October of last year. “We’re very glad the doors are open.” The St. Peter natives went to Gustavus and then got masters degrees in the sports/recreation field at Minnesota State University. They played tennis but got hooked on pickleball when they played it in Florida. “We always had a dream of owning our own facility,” Sidney said. “We were thinking of a tennis facility but we like that this is so family oriented.”
Jeff Pederson, who’s played pickleball for about 6 years, said he enjoys the exercise and camaraderie and the fact he can play after having both hips and a shoulder replaced. “I’m very thankful I can do this.” Pederson plays about four times a week, but doesn’t play in league games as some of his friends do. He is impressed with the Picklebarn. “There are people coming here from all over, Chaska, Belle Plaine, Winstad.”
Two of his playing partners, Gary Eichmeyer and Julian McFarlane, have played at several other indoor facilities over the years and gave high marks to the Picklebarn. “This is one of the best in the country,” Eichmeyer said. McFarlane said having a facility dedicated to pickleball, rather than playing on a gym floor, is nice. “Some places there’s posts in the way and all different lines on the floor.”

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