When you step into the Frisco Rail Yard, you are immediately met with an energy unlike any other in the city. Nestled in Frisco’s Rail District, the outdoor food truck, bar, and live music venue has something for everyone. Owned by Greg McDonald and his wife, Kristy, the Frisco Rail Yard is not a stop you want to miss on your next visit to Frisco.
Greg McDonald grew up in North Dallas and would spend his summers dove hunting in Frisco with his father. Shortly after getting married, Greg and his wife moved to Frisco for a short time until he received a promotion at his job which took them out of the city.
Working in the restaurant business, Greg was the general manager of a Bennigan’s in Louisiana and ready to move back to be closer to family and friends.
“Frisco was just the natural place,” said Greg.
Greg and his wife first opened 5th Street Patio Café in 2009, and in 2015 decided they wanted to purchase a food truck. For inspiration, they sought out the Truck Yard in Dallas. After visiting, Greg realized there wasn’t a similar place in Frisco. They sold 5th Street Patio Café in 2018 and have since focused fully on the Frisco Rail Yard.
“If you were going to go out on the town for a night generally speaking, you were leaving Frisco,” said Greg. “There wasn’t that type of place yet.”
Once he made the decision to build a truck yard environment for Frisco, he immediately pitched his idea to Mayor Maso and the search for the perfect spot was underway. Many twists and turns later, Greg and Kristy were able to begin construction on their corner of Frisco on Main Street.
Greg said since his opening, they have relied on social media and word of mouth to bring in the type of businesses they want to work with.
“We are just like any other mom and pop place,” said Greg. “We don’t have a massive marketing budget, so it's all word of mouth and social media. Even still we are getting inquiries for events we never would have gotten before because someone else said they had an event here and now they want to do something similar.”
A different type of venue
Greg said the Frisco Rail Yard is a place where anyone can come and stretch their legs comfortably while enjoying a drink and live music. “There is so much flexibility here to have a good time, however you have a good time,” he says.
With food trucks that feature ice cream, edible cookie dough, corn dogs, BBQ, and more, the Frisco Rail Yard truly provides something for everyone.
“You can come here on a date and have a nice evening for two, or you can bring your group of 50 and still have plenty of room to spread out,” said Greg.
Frisco’s uniqueness, rapid expansion, and family-focused lifestyle drew in Greg and his family, and will keep them here for years to come. Greg said he loves that Frisco people take care of each other. The passion for locally owned businesses, support for other small businesses, and overall community closeness continues to encourage him.
“We still have a community parade,” said Greg. “I don’t know of a city of this size that still does that, and it’s a big deal. That is part of what makes Frisco so unique and the attraction to Frisco is the community pride people have here.”
A proud member of his community-focused city, Greg spends his free time with his wife checking out the new restaurants constantly popping up in Frisco. They love to witness the growth of Frisco with places such as Rare Books Bar and The Parlor.
Fans of the Frisco RoughRiders and FC Dallas, Greg and his wife enjoy living in Sports City USA with an opportunity to attend a game always within reach. FC Dallas games bring in a significant amount of business for the Frisco Rail Yard, with fans coming in for a pre- and post-game drink.
Greg’s favorite part of the Frisco Rail Yard is the live music. All of the bands and artists that come in are local musicians – he does not hire traveling bands to maintain the support of local artists and growing music community in Frisco. He will never charge a cover fee for guests to come support the amazing artists living among them.
“A lot of our bands that come out just enjoy playing music,” said Greg. “We have bands that pack the dance floor. I love seeing people come out and just enjoy the music and enjoy each other’s company.”
Greg, Kristy, and their business partner, Tamme Leff, own the Frisco Rail Yard, but according to Greg the venue work runs through the family. His son lives in Celina and helped open the venue as a bartender. His two daughters live in Austin and come up to help when they can. One of his daughter’s boyfriends comes up to help bartend on the weekends, occasionally. All Frisco ISD graduates, his children love to come support their parents in the business in the city they grew up in.
“You just have to come here once and you’ll see,” said Greg.
Visiting the Frisco Rail Yard is a must on your next visit or trip to The Rail District. Be sure to check out the edible cookie dough food truck for a late-night snack and try your hand at corn hole or sand volleyball behind the bar.
Explore even more of Frisco's unique food and drink options to plan your next trip.