He’ll forever be known as the Houston Dynamos first true franchise player, the name that put professional soccer back on the map in Houston. But with his latest move, former Major League Soccer icon Brian Ching may now be known as a bonafide bar star.
Ching, who also owns Pitch 25 Beer Park, has announced plans for East End Backyard, his second bar in Houston’s East Downtown neighborhood. The EaDo spot is projected to open this fall at 1105 Sampson St., and promises to be a “casual, dog-friendly neighborhood bar and backyard for the flourishing EaDo area,” according to a release. Ching launched Pitch 25 with the development firm the Kirby Group; with East End, he’ll venture out on his own.
Ching’s latest bar will boast a 20,000-square-foot patio, community garden, and will offer up lawn games, live local music, events, and food trucks. The concept for the new indoor/outdoor community hub was revealed via a campaign on the Houston-based crowdfunding site, NextSeed.
East End Backyard will serve both local and domestic beers from its full bar, as well as house specialty cocktails made with produce grown in its own community garden, according to the release. Ching says in a statement that he plans to grow the space beyond the initial footprint with additional food and beverage tenants — which could make for a big EaDo draw.
With EaDo’s rapid residential development, Ching wants his bar to be a community backyard, of sorts. “I’ve watched the EaDo neighborhood change dramatically since I joined the Dynamo in 2006,” Ching says in a statement. “One of the downsides to a lot of the new townhouses that are being built is that people don’t have any outdoor space for themselves or their pets. We wanted to create somewhere in the area people could go to socialize in an affordable, laid-back environment, and enjoy the benefits of having a backyard even if they don’t own one themselves. We want this to feel like the biggest backyard in Houston.”
And as the bar takes off, Ching is eyeing even more tasty choices for locals. “We’re aiming to have Hawaiian coffee and a permanent food option, too,” he adds. “The bar is just the beginning. Our ultimate goal is to make East End Backyard a sustainable, community-oriented space, where the residents of the area feel they can come for a relaxing, enjoyable time outside, while still being in the heart of Houston. EaDo is my favorite neighborhood in the city, it’s the most exciting neighborhood in the city, and my hope is that East End Backyard really helps it feel more like just that: a neighborhood.”