Chris Coombs Will Open Four Restaurants at a Giant Pickleball Venue in Natick

The Boston chef—known for Deuxave, Boston Chops and Dbar—is partnering with former tennis pro D.J. Bosse to open Bosse in fall 2024.

Rendering of an indoor pickleball complex with a red, white, and gray color scheme.

Rendering of Bosse, opening fall 2024 at the Natick Mall. / Courtesy image

This fall, Natick is getting an absolutely massive pickleball venue (with 21 courts!) that’ll include four dining concepts from Chris Coombs, a Boston-based chef best known for his fine-dining endeavors. Pickleball—a racket-based sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and Ping-Pong—has been having quite a moment over the last few years, in Boston and beyond. You’ll find a growing number of courts around the region, not to mention the occasional fancied-up venue with a bar, restaurant, and funky murals.

See all »

Bosse (stylized as BOSSE), the forthcoming Natick venue, seems poised to take things to the next level, with nearly 100,000 square feet of fun (and food). The project is a collaboration between Coombs and former tennis pro D.J. Bosse, who also owns Hyde Park’s Bosse Sports, which has pickleball and basketball courts and other fitness-oriented spaces. Bosse Sports is conveniently adjacent to Best of Boston brewery Roundhead Brewing Company—post-pickleball pizza and beer, anyone?—but over at the Natick venue, all the dining and drinking options will be under the same roof, courtesy of Coombs.

“D.J.’s family and I have been friendly for some years,” says Coombs. “We originally connected over a passion for food. I always admired D.J.’s presence as a premier operator in the fitness space. We were both excited about the opportunity to come together to create a category in a rapidly growing segment.”

While Coombs is still finalizing the Bosse culinary plans, the options will be quite different from his Boston restaurants under the umbrella of the Boston Urban Hospitality group, which he co-founded and co-owns (steakhouse Boston Chops, with locations in Downtown Boston and the South End; upscale French restaurant Deuxave in Back Bay; and neighborhood restaurant/nightclub Dbar in Dorchester).

So, we probably won’t be dining on, say, a Deuxave-style, nine-hour French onion soup post-pickleball, or six precious ounces of Japanese A5 wagyu. (Although wouldn’t that be nice?) But here’s what’s on deck for Bosse, roughly: a restaurant focused on rustic Italian dishes; an all-day café with coffee, smoothies, and baked goods; a “courtside culinary experience”; and a sports bar and lounge with New American fare.

Two men stand next to each other, smiling, isolated on a white background. One holds a pickleball racket.

D.J. Bosse (left) and chef Chris Coombs. / Courtesy photo

“My two passions are food and fitness, so being able to combine both and push myself in a way that is totally different than anything else that I have done feels really good,” says Coombs, who’s been very active with weight training for many years, but has enthusiastically added pickleball to his fitness repertoire more recently. “I fell in love with pickleball the first time I played it,” he says. “It’s such a fun sport that spins up lots of competitive childhood sports memories, and it’s super fun to play with a group of friends.” He attributes its rise in popularity to the easy learning curve; it’s a suitable game for people of all ages and skillsets.

Located in the Natick Mall’s former Neiman Marcus space (which Coombs describes as “architecturally stunning”), Bosse marks Coombs’ first culinary endeavor outside of the city of Boston. For a project of this scale, a large footprint was necessary—something more easily found in the suburbs than in a densely populated Boston neighborhood—and the Natick space fit the bill.

“I have spent the last 18 years working in the city of Boston,” says Coombs, noting his pride in the talented restaurant teams that keep his Boston businesses running. While he remains co-owner of those venues, this feels like a new chapter for his career. “There’s so much that I have yet to do and learn,” he says. “Through the years, food and hospitality have continued to evolve, and most recently, food has begun to appear in conjunction with experiences. At Bosse, I look forward to creating something new and stimulating, for all to enjoy.”

1245 Worcester St. (Natick Mall), Natick,