by Alex Gonzalez
In Historic Downtown McKinney resides Eclair Bistro, a two-story restaurant and bar lounge that offers a variety of French-inspired cocktails. Last year, Founder and Chef Aaron Thomas partnered with Texas Instruments and Optoma Technologies to create a projection mapping dining and interactive lounge experience.
“We have a big Oktoberfest in McKinney, but one of the struggles is to get people off the street and into the restaurant,” Thomas said. “Last year, we decided to go ahead and projection map the front of the restaurant. It worked really well and it drew a lot of attention, and afterwards, I thought ‘How could we get that inside of the restaurant and incorporate that into our food presentation?’”
Thomas and the Eclair crew began testing in-restaurant projection mapping with some of the dining room’s larger tables. He posted some of the projection mapping beta test videos on YouTube, which caught the attention of Texas Instruments.
“They told us ‘This is about to blow up. We’re just down the street and we want to see if we can help you,’” Thomas said. “We partnered up with them and they were generous enough to outfit the entire restaurant with Optoma Technologies projectors.”
During a special media preview night, guests got to take a tour of the restaurant and behold some of the signature projections. On the tables, guests can see a variety of patterns with a multitude of abstract designs and designs inspired by nature. Guests can enjoy a light show consisting of various patterns as the feast upon Eclair’s signature New Orleans Style Crab Cakes or dip some fresh vegetables into some delicious Smoked Salmon Spread.
The second floor is the bar lounge area, where guests can find an interactive touch bar area and a touchscreen sensory dart game. Guests can also try signature cocktails like the Hibiscus Bramble or the Gin Blast.
Eclair Bistro is set to debut its interactive tables and bar lounge to the public in a ribbon-cutting at ceremony next month at a TBD date.