McKinney restaurant Guitars & Growlers fosters community through craft beer, music

The Billy G's Original hoagie at Guitars & Growlers comes with ham, salami, various veggies and oil & vinegar. (Courtesy Guitars & Growlers)
The Billy G's Original hoagie at Guitars & Growlers comes with ham, salami, various veggies and oil & vinegar. (Courtesy Guitars & Growlers)

The Billy G's Original hoagie at Guitars & Growlers comes with ham, salami, various veggies and oil & vinegar. (Courtesy Guitars & Growlers)

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Susan Elbedeiwy, co-owner of Guitars & Growlers, had almost 30 years of restaurant experience before she opened the McKinney location in 2019. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Susan Elbedeiwy, co-owner of Guitars & Growlers, said the restaurant changes about five to six kegs per week. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Guitars & Growlers' McKinney location rotates 43 taps regularly, which allows local breweries to promote new beers. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Guitars & Growlers has entertainment every night, including live music on Thursday through Sunday. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Susan Elbedeiwy, co-owner of Guitars & Growlers, said the restaurant changes about five to six kegs per week. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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At Guitars & Growlers, customers can fill a 65-ounce container with their beer of choice that then gets sealed for on-the-go transport. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Guitars & Growlers' McKinney location rotates 43 taps regularly, which allows local breweries to promote new beers. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Guitars & Growlers sells custom guitars made by co-owner Rob Baker. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Charcuterie "pedal" boards feature seasonal meats, cheese, fruits, nuts and olives. Customers can choose from a board to serve either two or four people. (Courtesy Guitars & Growlers)
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Charcuterie "pedal" boards feature seasonal meats, cheese, fruits, nuts and olives. Customers can choose from a board to serve either two or four people. (Courtesy Guitars & Growlers)
When the coronavirus pandemic hit North Texas, Susan Elbedeiwy had only been running Guitars & Growlers’ McKinney location for about five months.

Elbedeiwy said she never thought the restaurant would close, but she was more concerned about taking care of her employees.

More than a year later, business has not only picked up, but the restaurant is experiencing record sales.

“What’s cool is every day we have new people that come in,” Elbedeiwy said. “That’s what we want. People are like, ‘Oh, my gosh! I drove by and didn’t know what this was.’”

Guitars & Growlers opened its first location in Richardson in 2017. Both locations serve local craft beer, ciders and root beer on tap, in addition to a full menu with items named after well-known musicians. Popular dishes include Cash’s Smoked Wings, named for Johnny Cash, and the SRV Meat Lovers hoagie, abbreviated after Dallas guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan.


But the restaurant specializes in more than just beer and eats. Customers can purchase custom guitars made by co-owner Rob Baker.

Elbedeiwy said the McKinney community rallied around the restaurant and made sure it stayed open throughout the pandemic, and support increased from there.

Some of that community has grown organically from the camaraderie created by nightly entertainment at the restaurant, such as Pint Night and trivia on Mondays, open mic nights on Tuesdays, music bingo on Wednesdays, and live music Thursday through Sunday.

“We’re a family-friendly restaurant,” Elbedeiwy said. “We’re centered around the community and supporting local performers.”

The bar rotates 43 taps regularly, which range from porters, stouts and sours to lagers and IPAs. The rotation provides exposure to new beers local breweries want to promote, Elbedeiwy said. It also gives customers the opportunity to try different drinks, she said.

Beer lovers can use an app, Untappd, to receive updates when Guitars & Growlers replaces a tap. They can also check in on the app and rate beers. Reviews automatically populate on large screens above the bar.

Elbedeiwy said she and her business partners plan to expand the business. They have looked at the Bishop Arts District in Dallas, Denton and Austin.

“We have a great concept and a great culture,” she said. “The big piece is finding the right community that fits.”

Guitars & Growlers

2741 Virginia Parkway, Ste. 500

469-714-0229

www.guitarsandgrowlers.com

Hours: Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
By Brooklynn Cooper
Brooklynn Cooper covers public education in Frisco and McKinney. Previously, she reported on southern Dallas for The Dallas Morning News. The Durham, N.C. native and devoted Tar Heel fan graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2019.


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