So Much to Love and Do in Downtown McKinney!
By Lali Miles
I have always loved our downtown McKinney Square, even dating back to the 90’s when we first moved here. It was one of the many reasons we found McKinney special and thus chose to buy a home and establish family roots here. But make no mistake, as cute and as quaint as the downtown Square was then, it’s very different today! To quote Elphaba from Wicked, downtown McKinney, you “have changed for the better.”
One of the reasons the Square is so amazing is because there’s something of interest for just about everyone. Starting with my fave, the foodie scene – oh gracious – it’s crazy how many different choices we have to grab a bite to eat – like a breakfast sandwich and a charmingly decorated latte at the new Layered coffee/bakery/kitchen, or any of the amazing fresh sandwiches from Patina Green Home and Market, or a Texas Tailpipe hotdog from Top Dog Tacos; that’ll keep your tummy full as you wander about window shopping. There’s also no shortage of casual restaurants that are easy to pop into for dinner where you can just show up in jeans and a t-shirt and have dinner with the family, like Square Burger, which offers tantalizing burgers and oodles of beers on tap, or The Pub McKinney, with its homemade Guinness beef stew. McKinney is also blessed with several upscale dining options which may require a little more advance planning to secure a table and enjoy a fine meal for a special occasion, such as Rick’s Chophouse, Harvest, and Éclair Bistro. You want dessert? We got dessert! From gourmet popsicles at Frios, to delicious pie at Emporium Pies, or yummy gelato at Paciugo, we’ve got your sweet tooth covered. To complement these restaurants we have numerous specialty eateries, gourmet shops, coffee houses, wineries, and even two breweries. There’s a tremendous variety of cuisines available, so many talented chefs preparing darn good food, such dedication to being on the forefront of sustainability as well as social and environmental responsibility – so much greatness it makes your Whole30 head spin! “We aren’t worthy?!” But we are, my Friends, and if you’re smart, you’ll get out there and enjoy this bounty of eats goodness right here in our own backyard!
“People who love to eat are always the best people.”
~ Julia Child
Good food fills my belly but music nourishes my soul. We are also very lucky to have numerous downtown venues to enjoy live music. Cadillac Pizza Pub features a wide array of talented musicians Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, The Celt offers traditional Irish music artists and local groups every night but Mondays and Wednesdays, the Lounge at Rick’s Chophouse, Sugarbacon Proper Kitchen and Éclair Bistro all have live music on the weekends. And let’s not forget the McKinney Performing Arts Center which hosts community music to nationally known acts and theater events and is home to two theater groups. Back by popular demand, Four Funny Females, an all-female stand-up comedy troupe, returns in early 2018 and is billed as “The Ultimate Girls Night Out….(but the guys love it, too!”). Gone are the days where we had to drive to Dallas or Deep Ellum for a fun night out with live music – yeehaw!
“If God is a DJ, life is a dance floor, love is the rhythm, you are the music.”
But wait – downtown fun isn’t limited to just listening to a great live band – there’s more! McKinney has The Comedy Arena, a brand new comedy club that provides all types of comedy styles, from improve, to sketch, to stand up. Around the corner is a newfangled escape room experience called the Exit Room, where the objective is for participants (who happen to be enclosed in a room together) to collaborate and find clues and solve a series of puzzles in order to escape the room within a set time period. Now you aren’t locked up in a room but wouldn’t ya like to be … at Tupps Brewery? Every Saturday they offer FREE brewery tours accompanied by live music and a food truck on site. Seriously, is there a limit to how many times one can attend??? (Asking for a friend.)
“Enjoy life? There’s plenty of time to be dead.”
~ Hans Christian Andersen
I have barely scratched the surface on the number of delicious places to eat, interesting things to do, and many reasons to LOVE and enjoy downtown McKinney. I hope you plan a visit to the Square soon, whether it’s a shopping day trip, a date night out with the hubs, or just to spontaneously stroll around and take in the sights. C-ya on the Square!