East End Backyard, a 20,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor dog-friendly neighborhood bar, will be an affordable, relaxed social venue and community hub for Houston’s East Downtown neighborhood, from former Houston Dynamo star and owner of nearby Pitch 25, Brian Ching.
Witnessing firsthand the rapid development in EaDo where Pitch 25 is located, Ching noticed that many of the new residential properties being built lacked usable outdoor space. East End Backyard was conceived to give the neighborhood’s residents a casual space where they could gather outside, bring their dogs, and relax with friends and neighbors in their own backyard.
Built inside of a refurbished home original to the property, East End Backyard will have an inviting, laid-back, lived-in feel. The bar’s massive patio and attached dog park will be one of the largest pet-friendly outdoor bar spaces in the neighborhood, featuring an expansive lawn, fire pit, lawn games, and community garden.
The community garden will be an exciting and integral part of the overall experience. Finding sustainable, natural environments in the quickly developing EaDo area isn’t easy, but East End Backyard’s large outdoor plot will provide a beautiful outdoor setting, as well as fresh produce to be used in the bar’s specialty drinks. The garden's natural aesthetic will spill into the interior design as well, creating a lush and calming atmosphere.
Inside, a diverse range of beer options ranging from local brews to crowd-pleasing domestic taps will round out the cocktail menu offered by the full-service bar. East End Backyard will forego a traditional kitchen and instead have a constant rotation of food trucks on site, including Hula Dog, Ching’s Hawaiian-influenced hotdog concept. One or two trucks will be on site at all times, ensuring there’s always something to eat no matter when people choose to visit.
Event space will be in abundance, and the team is already plotting quarterly cookouts, gardening classes, and summer slip ’n' slide parties for when the Houston heat kicks into high gear. Local musicians will provide live entertainment, and an assortment of lawn games including croquet and badminton will always be available for customers to enjoy.
As Houston’s population growth continues in increasingly dense urban areas, outdoor space is a luxury that many have to live without. At East End Backyard, the EaDo community will have a neighborhood backyard to call their own.
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.
Located at 1105 Sampson Street, East End Backyard’s laid-back atmosphere will provide an alluring and relaxing respite to any and all Houstonians.
From his years spent playing soccer at BBVA Compass Stadium and with his business ventures since, Brian Ching has come to know the East End of Houston very well. Since his retirement in 2013, the area has transitioned from a tired stadium spillover zone into a new frontier for trendy restaurants and bars like Esquire-recognized Nancy’s Hustle.
The neighborhood coined EaDo has been the gateway to the East End’s explosive and highly successful development. As HoustonProperties.com outlines, there are a few key elements that contribute to how and why these areas are on the top of investors’ lists: 1) New Developments, 2) High Accessibility, 3) Strong Real Estate Market, 4) Affordability, 5) Proximity to Job Centers, 6) Wide Range of Housing Options.
Located near 3 out of the 4 Houston professional team stadiums – the Astros, Rockets, and Dynamo – the East End is home to new mixed-use developments and one of the region’s hottest property markets. One notable development is Midway’s East River – 150 acres of prime real estate with a mile of waterfront property along Buffalo Bayou.
Thanks to the city’s expansion of the MetroRail, EaDo has been rated as one of Houston’s Most Walkable Neighborhoods. The MetroRail not only provides easy transportation to 3 sports stadiums nearby, but it also connects the East End to one of the densest job areas – the Medical Center. Despite this explosive growth, the wide range of housing options – which includes single-family homes, townhomes, and condos – are remaining at reasonable prices as compare to other neighborhoods with similar proximity to downtown.
Brian Ching is a retired professional soccer star who spent eight seasons with the Houston Dynamo and was a six-time MLS All-Star. Brian also played on the men’s U.S. national soccer team from 2003-2010, winning the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2007. Following his soccer career, he began investing in Houston area bars and restaurants before launching Pitch 25, a popular sports bar with an indoor soccer pitch, in East Downtown in 2018. With Pitch 25, he was able to successfully raise funds for the project via a NextSeed campaign. He’s since gone on to launch another business, a Hawaiian-influenced hot dog food truck called Hula Dog, while serving on the board of Houston Habitat for Humanity, and forging closer business relations with the Houston and EaDo communities.