Hearth and home
When owner Francois Maeder decided to close Crumpets Restaurant & Bakery in August 2018 after 38 years in the business, many San Antonians feared they would never experience the space again. Luckily, local restaurateur Jason VandeBerg is breathing new life into the spot with a new location of Hearthstone Bakery Cafe, opening April 10.
The outpost replaces Hearthstone's Universal City location, which shuttered in late March. VandeBerg snagged the property at 3920 Harry Wurzbach Rd. in September, because the large footprint allows him to open an events center — and because of its beautiful, light-filled bones.
“Crumpets was kind of an iconic institution,” says VandeBerg, who has fond memories of eating there as a child. “Unfortunately, it had its time.”
While improvements have been made, VandeBerg stresses that he didn’t make any structural changes to the space. Slate tile floors were installed, and new furnishings were brought in, but the dining areas preserve Crumpets' overall experience.
“We wanted to bring it back to its old luster,” VandeBerg says.
Although both Crumpets and Hearthstone are known for baked goods, the menus are very different. Heavy classic European fare, like veal scallopini and beef Wellington, have been replaced with lighter dishes, such as salads, house-made soups, and breakfast bowls.
Hearthstone is particularly known for its sandwiches, including a “grown-up” grilled cheese with bacon, tomatoes, and a choice of two cheeses; the Greek-inspired Olympian Wrap with chicken or portobella mushrooms; and the best-selling Alicia’s Club with turkey, avocado spread, lettuce, mozzarella, and honey-Dijon mustard on a croissant.
VandeBerg says that although some have mistaken Hearthstone for a chain, it’s important to him for guests to know that it was born and bred in San Antonio. “We appreciate everyone who supports, as a local small business,” he says. “It empowers us to compete against the big brands.”
Eventually, Hearthstone may grow to a larger chain, but the restaurateur says he wants to “grow into our growth slowly.” For now, he is focusing on making the new location as much a part of Alamo City life as Crumpets was all those years.
“We strive to make the 30 minutes you spend in our concept the best 30 minutes of your day,” VandeBerg says.