McKinney restaurant Rye offers DIY meal, cocktails kits, local produce and more

In addition to offering menu items, Rye is offering do-it-yourself cocktail and meal kits. (Courtesy Rye)
In addition to offering menu items, Rye is offering do-it-yourself cocktail and meal kits. (Courtesy Rye)

In addition to offering menu items, Rye is offering do-it-yourself cocktail and meal kits. (Courtesy Rye)

Rye owner and CEO Tanner Agar said he started forming a game plan for his restaurant as soon as the first cases of the coronavirus were confirmed in the U.S.

Soon after, cases were confirmed in Texas, then Collin County and then McKinney, at which point government officials had put in place measures to reduce the chances of the virus spreading. These measures limit the number of gatherings to less than 10 people and order bars and restaurants to close dine-in services.

Rye, which has become a staple in downtown McKinney, is a seasonal, American small plates restaurant and craft cocktail bar.

Agar said Rye began offering no-touch takeout and delivery options right away, as many other local restaurants have, but he said they decided to take it one step further.

“Once the orders came down that restaurants were going to be limited, that’s when our team went into the all-out sprint to save ourselves,” Agar said. “Our main motivation here is, 'How do we get to keep our employees and save their jobs?'”

So in addition to menu items, Rye started selling do-it-yourself meal and cocktail kits as well as some of Rye's pantry items.

The meal kit menus change weekly to keep the options fresh, Agar said. This week’s meals include curried gulf shrimp and cauliflower and braised lamb steamed buns as well as salads, steaks and more.

“These have been performing really well, as people don’t want to go out [and] shop but also want to eat something more than just rice and beans,” Agar said.

But the cocktail kits, Agar said, are where Rye can really shine and offer something different.

“The idea behind the cocktail kits started when the governor made it legal for restaurants to sell alcohol [to go], so we wanted to take advantage of that, and obviously, Rye—having won several awards for our cocktails, that is something where we have an opportunity to keep people in their jobs producing cocktails,” he said. “We are just going to sell them in a little bit different way than we are used to.”

The kits include mojitos, bloody marys and Rye’s version of an Old Fashioned, among at least a dozen other drinks.

“People really enjoy it,” Agar said. “We have tried to make it as easy as we can and provide the tools and directions you need.”

Depending on the size of the glasses used, the kits can make eight to 10 servings. Customers can find all of the tools needed to make the cocktails, individually or as a bundle, on Rye’s website.

Also on the site, Rye is offering locally sourced bottles of wine, craft beer and some of its pantry and bar items, such as sweet horseradish pickles and brandied cherries, as well as Rye’s house bitters and vermouth.

The restaurant has also partnered with Profound Farms, a local farm based in Lucas, to offer fresh romaine lettuce.

With the closure of restaurants, the farm’s primary customer base disappeared, Agar said, so Rye is helping Profound find a market for their lettuces.

Rye’s partners, which include local farms, breweries and boutique wineries, are important to support during these times because without them, Rye does not exist, Agar said.

When customers orders items, one of Rye’s 15 team members will provide curbside pickup or deliver orders to customers.

So far, there has been a great response from customers expressing their enjoyment of the kits and food, Agar said.

“It is all about the community,” he said. “The motivation to keep our people working and the response and support that we have seen from our guest base is really what is motivating us to keep working at this and figure out how to keep going.”

Agar said that when Rye is able to open its doors again, he expects it to be better than ever.

For more information, visit Rye's website.
By Emily Davis
Emily graduated from Sam Houston State University with a degree in multi-platform journalism and a minor in criminal justice in Spring 2018. During her studies, Emily worked as an editor and reporter at The Houstonian, SHSU's local newspaper. Upon graduation, she began an editorial internship at Community Impact Newspaper in DFW, where she was then hired as Community Impact's first McKinney reporter in August 2018.


The Texas Central rail connection from Dallas to Houston will feature a bullet train similar to this one. (Courtesy Texas Central Partners/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Supreme Court declines to review high-speed rail case, freeing company up to use eminent domain

Texas Central, the company looking to build a 236-mile high-speed rail line connecting Houston and Dallas, has been given a big win in an ongoing legal battle over whether the company is legally recognized as a "railroad company" under state law.

The McKinney Family YMCA has reopened after closing a large part of its facility this February. (Courtesy McKinney Family YMCA)
McKinney Family YMCA reopens following winter storm repairs, renovations

Crews have replaced most surfaces in the building, from floors to ceilings, according to a McKinney Family YMCA news release.

Bojangles recently announced it signed a franchise agreement to open a new location in Richardson. (Courtesy Bojangles)
Bojangles fried chicken coming to Richardson; bar and grill opens at Grapevine golf course and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Firefighter administering a shot to a patient
McKinney Fire Department partners with churches to vaccinate vulnerable communities

'We're not telling you to do something that we haven't done': Faith leaders encouraged the community to get vaccinated through clinics hosted by the McKinney Fire Department.

McKinney Fourth of July event—Red, White and BOOM!—will take place in person this year. (Courtesy Pexel)
Juneteenth celebration, Fourth of July parade and more McKinney events in June and July

Check out the celebrations and local events taking place in McKinney June 19 through July 10. 

Mesero has six locations across the metroplex, with a seventh on the way in Southlake. (Courtesy Mesero)
Tex-Mex restaurant may come to Southlake; African fusion eatery opens in Frisco and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Plans OK’d for tax-credit, workforce housing in McKinney

About 10 acres of land at this site was already zoned for multifamily uses, however, at the June 15 McKinney City Council meeting, the applicant requested that about two more acres on the east side of the site be brought in as part of the development, for a total of about 12 acres.

Buzzed Bull Creamery is opening soon in McKinney. (Courtesy Buzzed Bull Creamery)
Buzzed Bull Creamery sets grand opening date in McKinney

The shop will use liquid nitrogen to serve ice cream, shakes and an espresso bar with customizable options for customers.

Stillwater Capital proposed redeveloping Storybook Ranch into for-rent cottage homes. (Rendering courtesy city of McKinney)
City Council approves redevelopment plans for McKinney’s Storybook Ranch

The applicant proposed for the 38 acres to be divided into two tracts: one portion of the land—about 2 acres facing Custer—will be dedicated to commercial uses, and the other 36 acres will allow for the cottage residential development.

McKinney city staff identified several businesses and residences that would be potentially effected by the renaming of Throckmorton Street and Throckmorton Place. (Image courtesy city of McKinney)
McKinney City Council considers steps to rename Throckmorton Street and Throckmorton Place

Following the presentation, staff said the city will work to engage the public to inform and seek feedback from residents, businesses and property owners along the two Throckmorton streets.