Then Andy discovered pickleball…


In the quaint San Marco section of Jacksonville is an excellent lunch spot called European Street Café. They are known for their large selection of imported beer, an impressive bakery, lots of imported candy, and a mix of German and middle eastern fare. This is just one of 4 locations for this restaurant in Jacksonville, but it is the grandest of the 4. Parking has been a problem, so the owner, Andy Zarka, secured the property next door a while back, so he could offer extra parking spaces for his patrons.

The storefront sitting within this extra parking area came for lagniappe, so to speak, so he made use of it as a spot to sell more candy.

Then Andy discovered pickleball.

In what has become a familiar story for many across this land, this discovery soon became a passion. Once taken up,  he found that pickleball is very hard to put down. So Andy got to thinking that maybe this little bonus store of his could be put to use for a more noble purpose than a candy outlet…

Andy Zarka mans the cash register
Lake City pickleballer Aida Lacey tries out the demo room

In 2020, the newly remodeled space opened its doors as JAX Pickleball Store, a store that caters to the wants and needs of pickleball players in northeastern Florida.

Visitors to the store will find pickleball items aplenty, ranging from essentials to things they never would have imagined they might need. There is a wide selection of paddles and balls, as well as pickleball-related sportswear and shoes. There is a side room set up with a springy backstop at one end to test drive your future paddle right in the store.

Andy is a generous sponsor of our Winter Blast tournament. Next time you are in Jacksonville, stop by JAX Pickleball Store and see what Andy has to offer. And since you will already be parked in the overflow parking area of European Street Café, try some Beer Cheese Soup while you’re there!

JAX PICKLEBALL STORE 1670 San Marco Blvd. Jacksonville, FL