Making history

San Antonio's anticipated new distillery and bar opens in historic downtown building

San Antonio's anticipated new distillery and bar opens downtown

Maverick Whiskey San Antonio distillery
Maverick Whiskey is now up and running. Photo by Joe Chidgey

One of San Antonio’s most ambitious projects is finally complete. After initially anticipating a May opening, Maverick Whiskey Distillery officially opened on July 23, according to a release.

The concept has been a longtime passion project for its founder, local corneal specialist Dr. Kenneth Maverick. The historic 115 Broadway St. building — the former home of Lockwood National Bank — had to undergo a major renovation, including the addition of new plumbing, an elevator, and state-of-the-art distilling equipment.

The 100-year-old, three-story structure now includes space for spirit making, a restaurant, a bar, and a private event room. Details like vintage tile and moldings were brought in to keep the decor period appropriate and framed photos and documents from the Maverick family’s storied history (Maverick’s great-great-great grandfather, Samuel Augustus Maverick, signed the Texas Declaration of Independence) adorn the walls.

“We offer a full experience incorporating atmosphere, history, and distinctive spirits made with locally sourced ingredients paired with Texas fine dining. There is something for everyone,” said Maverick in the release.

Of course, the booze is the main attraction. Rikk Munroe, formerly of Ben Milam Whiskey, heads the operation as the master distiller. Currently three spirits are available for purchase: grain-forward Alamo Whiskey, highly mixable Light Whiskey, and Texas Dry Gin, made with locally sourced botanicals.

“We are working to produce exceptional and distinguished spirits,” said Munroe. “Maverick is distilling one-of-a-kind products and experimenting with elements and ingredients native to Texas to eventually share beyond state lines.”

Running the kitchen is head chef Gabe Orozco, a longtime fixture of San Antonio’s dining scene, most well known for the Restaurant Impossible-featured Knife and Fork Gastropub. The menu — available for lunch and dinner — focuses on traditional American dishes made with ingredients from area farms.

Highlights include crispy pork belly with purple smashed potatoes, tri-color roasted carrots, and a house Carolina barbecue sauce; chicharones with tomatillo cream, poblano aioli, and creamy picante; and shrimp and grits ranchero. For dessert, a Mexican “haute” chocolate dish with prickly pear gelée and a candy tuile will undoubtedly be popular.

The restaurant and bar at Maverick Whiskey is open from 11 am to 11 pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Guided tours of the building can be scheduled from 2-5 pm Tuesday through Saturday for $20.