Union Bear, a restaurant and brewery concept from Plano, has announced plans to expand its operations with a new location in downtown McKinney.
The announcement was made on January 10 at a McKinney Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.
The concept of the original Union Bear location in Plano is based on a “West Coast casual beer approach fused with local roots,” according to the company website. “The space is driven by a signature line of craft beers and complemented by an extensive bar offering and menu of approachable, chef-driven plates.”
The new restaurant in McKinney will share the same concept but will not include an on-site brewery.
The proposed location of the new Union Bear is 308 W. Virginia St., near the northwest corner of the historic downtown square. Current plans for the 5,000-square-foot building include the addition of a 3,000-square-foot covered patio for outside dining.
The initial plans for the restaurant were downsized due to cost constraints, according to Community Impact.
Preston Lancaster, Union Bear owner, said, “We’ve actually owned this building for two years, and we’ve been trying to redevelop this property in the way we see best fit, not only for our business but for the city and the community as well.”
The building was originally a hardware and grocery store and is currently listed as a high priority on the city’s historic resources survey. On January 5, McKinney’s Historic Preservation Advisory Board considered the project and granted a certificate of approval for the proposed plans. The renovations would retain the historical context and character of the area while also energizing the community, according to a city planning staff presentation.
Lancaster also owns two other downtown McKinney restaurants: Cadillac Pizza and The Yard.
“We think we’ve been pretty good at The Yard and at Cadillac Pizza in being good neighbors and especially for being good partners with the city of McKinney in the downtown area,” said Lancaster at the meeting.
The commission approved the requested development standard variances at the meeting, giving Union Bear the green light to expand into downtown McKinney.