There's a new entertainment venue coming to Texas that mixes two sports in one. Called Fowling Warehouse, it's a hybrid innovation combining bowling and football, coming to East Plano in summer 2022.
Fowling Warehouse — note: you say "fowling" like foe-ling, not howling — was founded in Michigan by Chris Hutt and a group of friends who created the concept while tailgating at the 2001 Indy 500. They opened their first location in Hamtramck, inside Detroit, in a repurposed warehouse in 2014.
There are now five locations total including Atlanta, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati, with another set to open in Ann Arbor in 2022.
In the sport of fowling, players try to knock down their opponents' bowling pins by tossing a football from a distance of up to 48 feet. Fans say it's the best of both worlds: You're bowling and playing football at the same time.
But like other similar sportsy pursuits such as TopGolf, hatchet-throwing, and pickleball, you don't need to be an expert to play, and are more than encouraged to do so with beverage in hand.
Bringing Fowling to Texas is Connor Ligon, Richardson native, entrepreneur, and real estate pro who's opening it at 1714 14th St. in Plano, about a mile east of US-75.
"You're throwing a football at bowling pins," Ligon says. "It's a little like cornhole. Playing is a tremendous amount of fun. It's been a big success in the Northeast and so far, there are only five locations. When I saw the combination of football and a fun party environment, I felt like Texans would love it."
Each facility comes with a full bar, beer garden, and stage for live music.
Some locations have a BYOF policy — bring your own food — but Ligon plans on having a full-service restaurant at the Plano location (menu still TBA), not to mention multiple bars stationed in convenient locations.
He anticipates it will be a big destination for corporate outings, but it's open to everyone from individuals to families or groups who want to reserve an entire lane.
They're about to start construction; like every other business these days, they're waiting on city permits.
It's going into a 71,000-square-foot warehouse that was once home to Smith Systems, which manufactured school furniture for classrooms. It's a stretch of land that's been somewhat sleepy and industrial — but it's right between historic old downtown Plano which has been nurturing a renaissance, and Murphy, which is enjoying its own growth boom.
"We've been working with the city of Plano, and I think it's a great area that's going to grow," Ligon says.