Following his retirement from an outstanding professional soccer career with the Houston Dynamo, MLS and the U.S. Men’s National Team, Brian Ching established himself as a leading businessman in the East Downtown neighborhood — his stomping grounds for many years while playing for the Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Following a series of food and beverage industry investments, in 2018 he launched Pitch 25 Beer Park with the help of a NextSeed crowdfunding campaign. Pitch 25 features an indoor soccer pitch, scores of TV screens for viewing parties and match watching, and over 100 beer taps. Less than a year after opening, it holds 4+ star reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Foursquare.
Pitch 25: Investor Party (left), Investor Founders Wall (center) and Hula Dog (right)
After launching another venture, Hula Dog, a Hawaiian-influenced hotdog food truck, Ching is returning to EaDo once more with East End Backyard. Aside from knowing what it takes to run a successful business in the area and his wealth of connections in the Houston business world, Ching knew EaDo was the perfect spot for his new bar from the way the neighborhood has continued to boom since he opened Pitch 25. EaDo is home to some of the city’s nationally recognized and newest restaurant concepts, a vibrant business community surrounding the sports stadiums and convention center, easily accessible public transit options, and a rapidly growing number of residential buildings.
One of the drawbacks of living in such a dense urban environment is the lack of outdoor residential space. With East End Backyard, Ching is aiming to provide an incredible community-focused, service-oriented, dog-friendly outdoor space for the burgeoning neighborhood. As the largest outdoor patio bar in the area, East End Backyard will have more than enough space to host the residents of EaDo and their canine companions. A community-focused business, the bar will use Ching’s connections to forge local partnerships with food trucks, allowing him to eliminate the high overhead cost of running his own kitchen.
Once the bar has established itself, the team behind the project has plans to add an overhead cover, heaters, and misters to the patio, turning it into a year-round space. They will then convert two of the seven original buildings located on the property into a coffee shop and a taco bar. Both of these sublet properties on East End Backyard’s site will complement the existing business and provide additional streams of revenue since Ching has a master lease allowing him to collect income from subleases.
To market the bar and build his customer base, Ching has partnered with local Houston PR agency, The Scurfield Group, to ensure the business is well promoted and to help implement year-round programming including events and live music. With owner and former managing editor of the Houston Texans’ publications Nick Scurfield’s experience and contacts across all marketing channels, East End Backyard will be able to drive awareness and buzz building up to its opening and beyond.