Can't hardly wait
Maybe you've heard: San Antonio is currently experiencing a population boom. Even Austin renters are moving to the Alamo City in droves in search of greater affordability, less traffic, and much better tacos.
Of course, tacos aren't the only dish that San Antonio does right. A diverse crop of restaurants and bars is sprouting up to feed all the hungry newcomers. From promising new ideas from the city's most lauded chefs to a gaggle of Austin imports, here are the most anticipated spots — making local's mouths water — and coming soon.
Be Kind & Rewind
This upcoming arcade bar in the former Alamo Plaza Fuddruckers had sites on opening by this year's Fiesta. However, the website still lists a vague "opening 2022." The concept ignores the gravitas of the Texas Revolution for more recent history — the scrunchied pomp of the '80s.
Though locals were saddened to see Hello Paradise end its run in February, the announcement did come with some promising news. The team behind Bandit BBQ is planning to open a new all-American eatery on the grounds. The opening date is still anyone's guess. It had initially intended to open by spring.
Though locals have been abubble about the River Walk location of this luxury Houston steakhouse since May 2021, the Landry's restaurant group still hasn't offered exact opening details. It has, however, gotten around to updating the website with a targeted date in the fall.
The first of Pearl's big reveals this year, Carriqui will open at 239 E. Grayson St. on September 2. Locals are already abuzz about chef Jaime Gonzalez's menu, which is dedicated to South Texas favorites like coastal seafood, botana platters, barbacoa, and brisket.
Coyness seems to be in vogue among San Antonio restaurateurs. So goes it with Francis Bogside owner Steve Mahoney. When announcing that the popular Irish pub would leave Southtown at the end of July, he promised a new Francis Bogside would rise from the ashes. The location and timeframe are yet to be disclosed, though local reporters are no doubt breaking out their trenchcoats.
Full Goods Diner
Paperboy made a name in the Capital City with approachable, locally sourced fare. Now the team is moving into Pearl's new plaza in September. Like its Austin sibling, Full Goods will focus on breakfast and lunch. But guests can expect San Antonio flavor in dishes like carnitas tortas and breakfast enchiladas.
Go Fish Market
One of three anticipated concepts from hospitality dynamos Houston and Emily Carpenter, Go Fish will combine a fresh fish market with a casual café. The pair estimate a winter 2022 opening at 125 W. Grayson St.
Chef Nicola Blaque is gearing up for a third brick-and-mortar location of her nationally recognized concept, tentatively set for opening in late summer. The menu will have some slight tweaks with a few more upscale offerings.
Kerbey Lane Cafe
The first San Antonio location of Austin's most famous pancake slinger was expected to arrive at 5515 N. Loop 1604 W., #101 this spring. There's still no definite date, but the outpost has begun hiring.
Vera and Brent Deckard are bringing a second location of their beloved Southtown brewery to Hemisfair's Yanaguana Garden sometime this summer. The new joint will be similar to the original but will offer to-go bites to be enjoyed on the grounds.
This Mediterranean restaurant from Austin's acclaimed Emmer & Rye Hospitality Group will fire up the grill in late summer at 200 E. Grayson St. — the former site of Andrew Weissman's Pearl pioneer Il Sogno Osteria. Executive chef Berty Richter's menu focuses on live-fire cooking with scratch pita, mezze, and bountiful vegetables.
The team behind Grayson Street's The Modernist hasn't revealed much about this rum-focused bar. Will it be on the East Side or Southtown? Will it open before the end of the year? For now, San Antonians are free to wildly speculate.
Construction is still underway for this upscale sports bar, a Southtown version of a Houston favorite. Social media offers little clue to the ultimate opening date. Its Instagram page's single post still says the spot will open in early 2022.
Tucked into the lobby level of the upcoming Jefferson Bank tower at 1900 Broadway, Nineteen Hyaku promises upscale sushi served in chic, midcentury modern surrounds. Elevated seafood, tony design? It's no shocker that this is another project from the aforementioned Carpenters. The debut is expected in July 2023.
Downtown nightlife will gain new vigor when Picks Bar owners Jessica Marinez and Amber Hernandez take over the former Davenport Lounge at 203 N. Presa St. for a brand-new concept. When CultureMap last checked in, the bar did not have a name. Now Pink Shark has an Instagram page so neighbors can follow along with the progress.
Local architecture firm Clayton Korte is reworking a former sporting goods store at 211 N. St. Mary's St. into a stylish new restaurant and brewery. The completion date has not been revealed, but it is expected to be up and running by year's end.
The ever-busy Carpenters are also hard at work converting a ramshackle house at 517 E. Grayson St. into an elegant New American eatery. According to its Instagram page, Restaurant Claudine will grace Government Hill in October. Roland Gutierrez, an alum of Supper and Up Scale, will help the kitchen as chef de cuisine.
Locals will have to wait a bit to enjoy this state-of-the-art music venue at the Pearl. The ambitious project with an outdoor beer garden is not set to open until Spring 2023.
Unnamed Stefan Bowers Project
Sometimes a restaurant doesn't need a name to be highly anticipated. When lauded chef Stefan Bowers unexpectedly announced the closure of Playland Pizza, he also announced a new concept opening at the 1221 Broadway Lofts this fall. Unfortunately, he shared no menu details for the upcoming eatery — only saying that pizza will not be on the menu.
Those wondering what would happen to Playland's 400 E. Houston St. spot soon got their answer. The marble-clad space will become the first San Antonio location of Portland's Voodoo Doughnut by the end of the year.
Sean Wen and Andrew Ho, the team behind Curry Boys and Pinch Boil House, are partnering with craft butcher Joe Saenz on this upcoming beer garden just off the St. Mary's Strip. This time the prolific alchemists will meld traditional german cuisine with Asian flavors. The spot will have a fall opening to take advantage of crisper weather.