On a Wednesday evening around 7:30, with a crisp glass of Pinot Grigio for company, I watched various patrons enter and exit the bar area of what once was someone’s home. It was obvious most were regulars and greeted the owners, Lance & Ursula Clayton, with familiarity.
Opened in the fall of 2013, Eight 11 Place has become a popular venue in the heart of downtown Frisco. Date nights, ladies night out, after work drinks, or even just somewhere to chill solo & catch up on some work, this Frisco gem has become a favorite to many locals.
As a Frisco resident one can find almost any favorite restaurant within a five mile radius. Looking for a particular type of food? Mexican, Italian, Asian, Burgers, Pizza… there are usually four or five immediate options that spring to mind. But ask someone to recommend a quiet place to grab some down time, with a friend or by yourself, and there is little resembling Eight 11 Place.
Well into their second year, I caught up with the charming couple from Austin to discuss wine, flatbread, and life so far in Frisco.
“People seem to love what we are doing here,” Ursula explains. “We just wouldn’t change the concept; it’s so comfortable to work with. We’re striving for that neighborhood feel because despite the crazy, record-breaking growth in Frisco, we know people still want small and local, too.”
Over the last year and a half, they pride themselves on a growing personal relationship with their community and continue to be open to all customer feedback. Word of mouth has been their greatest marketing success.
“People come in for the first time, enjoy the experience, and then come back with friends, and the word continues to spread. For this we are ever so grateful,” Ursula smiles.
Discussing trends, Ursula explains their busiest nights are typically Friday and Saturday, but you never can tell. “We have been packed out on various weeknights too. Some people drop in for a drink before going somewhere else for dinner, some drop by for a quiet corner after a busy restaurant, and some make our venue their comfort zone for a whole evening.” Noting that one can choose a cozy table inside, or enjoy their garden patio with outdoor bar, which definitely makes you feel a world away from the hustle and bustle of the tollway.
Hitting the right balance in wine and beers is a work in progress, and they take note of any specific customer requests. Beer is becoming just as popular as wine now, and they’re introducing more and more local options.
Putting their food menu together is a family effort. Experimenting with ideas and aiming for the right balance of small and simple food which they feel works well. Some signature dishes have their own distinct name – the Lela, for example, is named after Ursula’s grandmother. And, if you just want to stop by for a glass and dessert, you cannot beat their signature miniature s’mores tray.
Live music almost every Friday again promotes that close community feel, and they try to host as many local artists as they can find.
The couple remain optimistic about the future, and are already looking to expand to a second venue in downtown Frisco. “There is so much potential and any new businesses that opens up nearby is always helpful to ours.”
Austin’s loss is Frisco’s gain because Lance and Ursula have crafted a little pour of heaven that fits in just perfect here. Drop by to experience the charm beyond their front door and white picket fence.