Irons in the fire

Favorite San Antonio Italian restaurant on the move as celebrity chef expands empire

San Antonio Italian restaurant moving as celebrity chef expands empire

Tre Trattoria
San Antonians have a few more weeks to dine at the original Tre Trattoria. Photo courtesy of Tre Trattoria

Celebrity restaurateur and Iron Chef Gauntlet star Jason Dady is a very busy man. Not only is he planning to move one of his most popular eateries this summer, he is also adding a brand-new concept to the family.

On May 1, the star chef announced via Instagram that Tre Trattoria will relocate from its current home at Broadway Street and Hildebrand Avenue to the Beretta Hops House at the San Antonio Museum of Art.

Dady told CultureMap he has been looking at the location for five years. The new spot will allow him to scale down the restaurant, going from 100 to about 70 seats. The covered patio, overlooking the Museum Reach section of the River Walk, will accommodate another 60.

“With the Pearl and downtown merging, it’s a home run location,” he said. The original Tre Trattoria does not have a closing date just yet, and the Instagram post assured fans they still have a few weeks.

The move would be enough to keep anyone busy, but Dady also shared recently that he is opening his first eatery outside the 210. Chispas, a bar and restaurant specializing in tacos, will open in the fall in downtown Austin.

The news first broke during the Austin Food & Wine Festival, held April 28-29. Dady said that he has been sitting on the concept for some time and had always thought San Antonio would be the location. When he heard Fado vacated its location in Austin's Warehouse District after more than 20 years, Dady said it was a “no brainer” to scoop it up.

Dady envisions Chispas as a “cool hangout taco and margarita joint with fresh salsa and guac, and homemade tortillas.” The menu will be minimal, with no more than 12 tacos.

“[Chispas] is not like Torchy’s with a lot of different ingredients,” said Dady. “There will be no more than four ingredients, including the tortilla.” That doesn’t necessarily mean traditional, however. Dady teased that the tacos may even use ingredients like avocado mousse.

The margaritas will be focused on a basic build as well, using fresh juices. “Chispas is San Antonio slang for strong, really good tart margaritas,” the chef explained. “There will not be a bunch of machines doing strawberry and mango.”

Although the majority of the cocktails will be shaken and on the rocks, Dady said he does love frozen margaritas and said he may allow one into the rotation.

After Chispas and the new Tre Trattoria open, Dady said he has no new projects in the works — and he will continue operating his other six restaurants: Tre Enoteca, Shuck Shack, Two Bros BBQ Market, B&D Ice House, Bin Tapas, and his new chophouse Range. “My wife would kill me if I thought about anything else,” he joked.