Episode 164: Pickleball – Speed Dating with a Paddle

That’s how owner Renée Melchiode describes the experience at Exchange Pickleball & Bar, which opened August 8 behind the Walmart on Tchoupitoulas Street. In this week’s episode, hear the story of how they city’s only marriage of the fastest growing sport in the nation with food and beverage offerings came to be in New Orleans.

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Renée Summer Melchiode originally hailed from Maryland but moved to New Orleans with she was 16 years old. She graduated from the University of Texas in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and subsequently earned her law degree from The University of Maryland, Carey School of Law in 1992. She practiced general litigation for 8 years, before taking a leave of absence to raise her three children. During that time, Renée was instrumental in raising funds for various philanthropies, including generating public/private partnerships with New Orleans’ parks and public schools. In 2014, Renée returned to the practice of law with her husband, Jerry, at Melchiode Marks King, where she focused on employers’ liability, construction, property law, and contract negotiations. Renée was inducted into The Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, an international network of distinguished defense counsel, following a vetted peer and judge reviewed commission. Renée was an avid tennis player who made the conversion to Pickleball in 2020 when she played for the first time. After learning about the lack of accessible courts and the growing demand of the sport, with her family and experienced venture capitalists by her side, the Exchange Pickleball + Bar was born. She resides in New Orleans with her husband of 30 years where they raised their children who are scattered about the country.


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