Looking for a low-key hangout on 17th Street in downtown McAllen? The new bar, The Yard on Dallas Ave. (more on the name later), might be the answer.

The owners of The Yard came up with the idea of an outside bar they were hoping people liked, turning the shoebox-shaped parking lot into a place people can play games, drink cocktails, eat from food trucks on yellow benches or have a party inside one of the shipping containers on the property.

Antonio Garcia, 27, and Danny Sandoval, 26, own Roof 324, a rooftop bar catty-corner to the space where The Yard is located. They have eyed the location for some time and joined forces with Joseph Martinez, 25, to open the new bar. The three met each other while they were students at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. It took a year for them to open The Yard, they said, adding that they had to do a lot of homework in order to convince the city of McAllen to allow them to open the new location.

“We wanted to open a food truck,” Garcia said about the ownership’s original plans. “Then we thought, ‘Why should we open a food truck when we don’t know anything about food?’ We do know about bars, so we decided to open a new bar.”

They admit that the concept of the new bar is different from what people are used to on 17th Street. After all, it is an open, outdoor bar with shipping containers and with enough space for up to six food trucks. The owners had originally wanted a two-story place modeled after the Container Bar, an Austin establishment located in seven stacked shipping containers. That wasn’t going to fly with the city for ordinance reasons, so they settled for the colorful space they created in an area that is underdeveloped compared to the northern end of the strip of bars. Although near popular bars such as Roof 324 and Tres, it is one of only three bars south of Dallas Avenue.

It is, however, located in an area where there is heavy foot traffic. Many patrons park on the south end of the strip and walk north toward the bars. During the bar’s weeks-long soft opening, patrons likely stumbled upon on it.

The establishment is technically located at 401 S. 17th St. The owners, however, said they opted to include the cross street in the bar’s official name rather than 17th Street because the street can sometimes have a negative connotation associated with it.

The Yard also provides a place to eat after a night of drinking on 17th Street. The food trucks rent the space on the bar’s property and sell food until 3 a.m. Currently, there are tacos, gorditas, pizza and barbecue.

You can also play Connect Four or corn hole. The shipping containers can be rented for a private party for up to 20 people. The full bar includes freshly made cocktails and local beers.

The Yard is family and pet friendly and is open for 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. Tuesday to Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Sundays. After an almost month-long soft opening, The Yard’s grand opening is at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.