Savor the Swing at The Local Open

By Ashli Urano

My tennis partner and I met for a late lunch in north Frisco recently at The Local Open, located at 16702 Hollyhock Rd, which opened its doors for the first time at the end of August 2023. They serve locally sourced American cuisine and have an extensive wine list, as well as unique hand-crafted cocktails.

 We walked in towards the end of lunch service and were quickly greeted by Jack, who would end up being our server. We immediately noticed rooms located all across the right side of the restaurant. We were told they are five simulated golf bays, featuring TrackMan golf simulators, which are the same technology used by PGA players. After going online to rent a room, customers can also play various games like mini-golf and Capture the Flag.

These simulators offer a chance to practice on a range or choose from over 200 legendary courses, including spots like Pebble Beach and PGA East and West. Even if you’re not an experienced golfer, the simulators are user-friendly and fun for everyone. Each room has high-top tables and chairs for dining or relaxing, along with leather couches.

 

 After passing the host stand, the left side of the restaurant’s lounge area is beautifully designed and furnished with cultured marble tables and brown leather chairs. An elevated ledge, filled with plants, creates a subtle division from the dining space. The ceiling’s natural wood beams are complemented by softly suspended lights. As you step onto the light brown wood floors, the space opens up to welcoming jewel-toned turquoise booths and triangular shelves displaying vases, pottery, and wine bottles, adding an artistic flair.

The bar area, located at the back of the restaurant, features a stunning black-and-white design. The chic gold and black bar chairs paired with high-top tables enhance the elegant yet relaxed vibe. A variety of liquor and wine lines the wall beneath three large-screen televisions.

We were seated in the bar area at a cozy booth in the corner. Jack briefly left, then returned with a signature cocktail menu. My friend loves Bloody Marys, so she didn’t need to make any complicated drink decisions. I chose a cocktail called The Breeze because the ingredients screamed with excitement. When Jack arrived with my drink, it reminded me of summer with hints of orange and red. The combination of Bacardi and Malibu added a smooth undertone to the cocktail. Blended with pineapple, orange, and cranberry juices, there was a distinct sweet and tangy flavor. A splash of grenadine brought extra sweetness and a rich red color, adding to the depth of the drink. 

 

We both started smiling when my friend’s Bloody Mary arrived with none other than a piece of crispy bacon. The bread and butter pickle garnish was also a welcome surprise, but there’s really nothing like having your drink garnished with a piece of crunchy bacon. The bacon complimented the bold, spicy flavors of the Bloody Mary mix in a powerful way. We can all agree that bacon makes the world a better place.

We decided to share the Honey Cornbread Bites appetizer, and the cornbread was so fresh and fluffy that my knife glided through effortlessly. Cornbread with honey butter is literally the perfect combination. The cornbread was crispy on the outside while remaining moist and tender inside, and the honey brought a subtle sweetness that complimented the savory essence of the cornbread. The whipped honey butter added a creamy richness to each bite. The only thing that might be better with honey butter is golden-fried hushpuppies.

We also split the Smokey Blue Wedge. The first thing my friend noticed was how colorful the tomatoes were as they seemed to pop off the plate. The plating of the wedge was clean and inviting. The crisp iceberg lettuce topped with juicy, sweet heirloom tomatoes was covered with smoky bleu cheese, cornbread croutons, Applewood smoked bacon, and blue cheese dressing.

 There were so many tempting choices for pizza listed on the menu. Getting the Caprese Handcrafted Artisan Pizza was the best choice I could have made. Pizza crust is incredibly important. When I went to culinary school, my chef instructor emphasized that the base of the pizza should be perfectly cooked. Achieving that ideal crispness takes pizza to the next level. The Caprese pizza was topped with ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and melted mozzarella cheese. The drizzle of dark, slightly sweet balsamic reduction sealed the deal. It’s one of the best pizzas I’ve ever tasted.

The Local Open Burger costs $20. If the beef was basic, then this might be considered an expensive burger during lunch or dinner service. With a half-pound of Akaushi beef, this price doesn’t seem unreasonable at all. Akaushi is a specific breed of Wagyu cattle known for its high marbling content. The result is a flavorful meat that’s tender and juicy with every bite. The grass-fed Akaushi beef patty with melted provolone cheese, sitting on top of a toasted brioche bun, was bursting with juiciness. The intense buttery texture and tenderness added to the rich, meaty flavor. The toppings gave layers of delicious tastes and textures. Savory bacon jam added a deep richness that complemented the beef, and heirloom tomatoes delivered a sweet bite, while arugula offered peppery zest. The freshness of the avocado, along with the sweet caramelized Vidalia onions elevated this burger to champion level. Even more exciting is how the Thousand Island aioli tied it all together. This is a big, messy, delicious burger you need to hold onto with both hands during every bite. 

For dessert, we ordered a 7 Layer Chocolate Cake. The decadent, velvety layers delivered the perfect amount of chocolate. Powdered sugar was gently dusted on top of the cake while a dollop of whipped cream and fresh raspberries were placed closely by its side. This cake was able to strike a perfect balance between sweetness and richness.

After dessert, the owner, Mike, asked if we wanted to take a tour of the restaurant, including the kitchen, which was surprising. It’s not unusual for kitchens to be out of order at the end of lunch or dinner service, but The Local Open’s kitchen was immaculate. The kitchen is small, extremely clean, and well-organized.

We originally thought it was the manager who kept checking on us, but later realized it was the restaurant’s owner. He was genuinely kind and interesting. We already had incredible service from Jack, so the extra attention made us feel even more welcome.

Getting exceptional service with fantastic food at a newly opened restaurant can be pretty tough. Often, new restaurants are still figuring things out – like their menu, service flow, and getting the right team together. At The Local Open, despite being open only a few months, we experienced outstanding service and delicious food. It’s rare because many new spots might have some hiccups with staff learning the ropes or the kitchen getting used to cooking new dishes. Yet, at The Local Open, they seemed to have everything figured out from the get-go. The staff was friendly, knew their menu well, and made us feel welcome. Most importantly, the food tasted like they had been perfecting it for years. It’s not common to find such a great experience at a brand-new restaurant, but The Local Open hit a hole-in-one.

Ashli Urano is a freelance writer obsessed with competitive tennis, true crime, and her Goldendoodle
named Sadie Kirenia

Skip to content