We heard a buzz coming from Frisco’s Rail District, so we followed it. It led us to the Patios at the Rail, an experiential destination where railroad history, boutique businesses, and character abound.
The buzz is coming from local residents who are eager to meet the Patios’ newest tenant, Loop Ping Pong Kitchen and Bar.
Yes, we said ping pong. If images of tube socks, gymnasiums, and Forrest Gump just popped into your head, you’re not alone. But this is Frisco, so you’ll want to take that visual and elevate it to a you’ve-never-seen-this-before level.
Officially opening later this fall, but hosting pop-up previews now, Loop Ping Pong is a two-story, 6,000 square-foot entertainment space with rentable ping-pong tables, dining space, two bars, and indoor-outdoor seating.
Michelle George, a partner in the business, says that while the game is ping pong, the concept centers around community and bringing people together in a fun, relaxed way.
Michelle and her husband are transplants to Frisco, but they’re not brand new. Both in the medical field, they’ve lived here for eight years and are excited to join the small business community. Michelle recalls when her father, a business owner himself, used to drive through Frisco and say to her, “You have to think of something that Frisco doesn’t have. What is Frisco lacking?”
Appreciating that Frisco is a family-friendly town, she noticed there aren’t many places to go that cater to both the needs of the parents and the needs of the children. Where can you park the car and settle in to eat, play, and relax in an atmosphere that everyone enjoys? And with the bonus of a close proximity to home… (After all, we’re a little bit spoiled around here and we don’t like to leave our bubble if we don’t have to.)
Once the vision was set, it was time to find a location. Michelle shares, “I was immediately drawn to downtown Frisco because it’s an up and coming area right now and feels like the heartbeat of the city. Downtown has always represented the roots of Frisco, but over time, it’s been overshadowed by other exciting developments. We loved the idea of being a part of the close-knit downtown community, so when we saw the Patios at the Rail, we were like, ‘it’s perfect!’”
Proving that Loop Ping Pong values Frisco’s railroad history, they’ve made it a priority to include nods to the city’s past in their designs and branding.
“It’s important to us to pay homage to Frisco, both what it used to be and what it’s all about now. The city has grown so much and we owe it to the locals, the ones who have been here for a long time, to not disregard its history.”
Case in point, in their branding you’ll see hand-drawn graphics of the iconic “Ship it on the Frisco” signage, as well as the train near Babe’s, and the old Frisco water tower. You’ll find railroad tracks inlaid into the concrete floors, along with other surprises they’ll reveal soon. No matter what aspect of the business they’re talking about, Michelle says the question is always, “how can we pay honor to Frisco?”
Now, you don’t have to play ping pong when you come, but why wouldn’t you when there are staff ball fetchers at the ready? No chasing after the ball here, they’ve got that part handled. You’ll receive a full bucket to work with so the action never stops. Loop will have tables available for walk-in patrons, and you can call ahead if you want to reserve several tables adjacent to one another. Whether you’re an amateur or you think you’re ready for the Olympics, you’re welcome to play.
Maybe you’re wondering how you can play ping ping and enjoy dinner at the same time? They have that covered, as well.
“Developing the menu has been a creative and fun process,” says Michelle. “We’re fortunate to have an award-winning Dallas-area Chef who gets our sophisticated food concept. We know that we can’t serve you fork and knife food when you’re trying to play ping pong. The challenge was, how do we translate this amazing upscale menu into play-able food? So, we’re exploring ways to do exactly that. ‘Interested in the salad? Okay, would you like to make your salad play-able? We can put it in a wrap.’”
That doesn’t mean the less-adventurous types can’t just sit back and enjoy a meal. A large, glam bar will seat 16 while the adjacent dining area will offer tables with banquette seating, drink rails, and a lounge space for larger groups. Sit-down guests can enjoy the full menu of sophisticated, yet relaxed fare, in a stylish, yet still playful ambiance.
Michelle shares, “Most of the time when we talk to someone about our concept and then they see our renderings, they’re like ‘wow, we never imagined that.’ It’s definitely upscale ambiance, but we think it’s also important to also include fun, quirky elements as well.”
You’re invited to pop by for a quick lunch, an extended happy hour, or a date night dinner. You can hang all evening to practice your “loop” (it’s a ping pong stroke that generates a lot of topspin, in case you didn’t know) while nibbling on share-ables. It’s up to you.
While classy in style (Michelle is in love with the herringbone stone walls, in particular), it’s still relaxed in concept. Guests will find artistic, ping-ping-inspired creativity throughout, such as ping pong ball installations in the chandelier.
On the second floor, they’re about to blow out the west-facing wall to expand Loop Ping Pong’s access to the rooftop yard the Patios at the Rail is known for. Stylish rolling garage doors will invite guests outside to enjoy a second bar and additional banquette tables and chairs. Push-back windows will be installed to enclose the space when needed.
As a new business in the time of COVID, naturally it’s taken a bit longer to get things going than they would have liked, but Michelle says they’re taking it in stride.
“We’re prepared to dip and weave,” she says. “Right now, it’s either roll with the waves, or you’re not going to survive. Are building materials taking longer to source? Yes, but what can we do? People are excited about us opening, so we’ll offer preview nights to whet their whistle and inspire them to return again.”
Loop Ping Pong invites their guests to relax and settle in. During the day, come and have lunch. In the evening, meet a friend for a drink, or bring the family for a fun time and let your paddles do the talking.
Loop Ping Pong is eager to partner with local businesses and nonprofits to host corporate events, fundraisers, tournaments, or even rehearsal dinners (bridesmaids versus groomsmen in a tournament sounds pretty fun to us). Book a grown-up birthday party, plan a team-building event. Whatever you imagine, they’re eager to plan it with you.
Follow Loop Ping Pong Kitchen + Bar on social media (Facebook | Instagram) to watch for exclusive pop-up event announcements, and stay alert for updates to their new website. Be the first to know, and the first to become the king of ping in Frisco, Texas.
Loop Ping Pong Kitchen and Bar | 7511 Main St., Frisco, TX 75033