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  • Herald-Tribune

    Court Thirteen lounge, bar, pro shop officially opens at Payne Park Tennis Center

    By Heather Bushman, Sarasota Herald-Tribune,

    27 days ago

    Payne Park Tennis Center’s newest addition will seek to serve up a good time off the court.

    The Court Thirteen pro shop, café and bar hosted its official opening at the Payne Park Tennis Center June 14. The facility will serve as a one-stop shop for tennis gear and equipment while also acting as a full-service bar and social gathering space.

    Court Thirteen is located inside the main building at Payne Park Tennis Center, located at 2050 Adams Lane. The facility is the product of a public-private partnership between the City of Sarasota and the Tevatan Corporation: a local company that also operates the Hart’s Landing bait shop and general store on Ringling Boulevard.

    The décor — string lights across the ceiling, vintage knickknacks and tennis memorabilia on shelves behind the bar, a wall covered in photos of the greats — aims to create a casual atmosphere anchored by tennis fervor. Sarah Baldwin, Court Thirteen’s owner, said the laid-back ambiance and variety of services were inspired by the diverse experiences, ages and skill levels in the tennis center’s patrons.

    “It was really important to me that this wasn’t stuffy country club vibes,” Baldwin said. “If we’re going to try to make this a place for anybody, we wanted to make sure we had something for everyone.”

    Baldwin and her husband, Chris, remodeled the room, located inside the tennis center’s main building, after responding to a city request for proposal and winning the bid last year. The lounge has been functional for three months but officially launched June 14 with morning coffee, afternoon drinks and evening music and socializing.

    Coffee and pre-packaged food items like sandwiches and pastries are currently available at the counter, with drinks from the fully stocked bar available in the evening. The room also includes a ping-pong table and cornhole boards, and Baldwin hopes to host games and tournaments in the future.

    Carly Nicholas, Payne Park Tennis Center’s manager, said the facility is an important addition to Payne Park’s community-oriented vision. While the pro-shop components — available gear and racquet restringing services — will appeal to regular tennis players, Nicholas said she hopes non-tennis players see Court Thirteen as a place to form bonds and gather with friends.

    “It’s not just tennis. It’s more about getting together off the courts and finding your real group of friends here,” Nicholas said. “The overall idea is just to service the community.”

    Court Thirteen is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and weekend hours have not yet been announced.

    Contact Herald-Tribune Growth and Development Reporter Heather Bushman at Follow her on Twitter @hmb_1013.

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