A Legend Revamped

Famed San Antonio barman takes over legendary East Side watering hole

Famed San Antonio barman takes over legendary East Side watering hole

Tucker's Kozy Korner
Tucker's Kozy Korner gets a new lease on life. Tucker's Kozy Korner/Facebook

After news of its temporary closure spread through social media, fans of Tucker’s Kozy Korner have found reason to rejoice. Hometown barman Jeret Peña recently announced that The Boulevardier Group had taken ownership of the popular East Side watering hole and would be giving the space a facelift.

The soul food, brunch, and jazz joint first opened in 1948 and has operated under various owners ever since. Most recent was local restaurateur Chris Cullum, who took over Tucker’s in 2014 adding a Sunday Soul Brunch and live music from his father, Jim Cullum, a jazz legend who played with Louis Armstrong.

Peña first visited Tucker’s in the late 2000s, and fell in love with the joint. “I wanted to be a part of it ever since,” he says.  “I am most excited about being able to be a part of the legacy of this place. It is a historic bar and I want this to be the most important bar on the East Side. We do not want to change the place up too much. A good deep clean, new flooring, and paint, that’s all. The outside will have a larger bar and will be designed to look much more approachable.” 

The new incarnation of Tucker’s will have a small cocktail menu that will include shot and beer pairings. For the food menu, Peña consulted with San Antonio native chef Jeff White. “Our mutual friend and partner at Cherrity Bar, David Malley, connected us,” says Peña. “I wasn't aware that Jeff's wife has been coming to celebrate her birthday at Tucker’s for over a decade.” Aside from the personal connection, Peña believes that White’s Texas-style comfort food will be “perfect for the place.” 

When it reopens, Tucker’s Kozy Korner will be open seven days a week: 2 pm 2 am, Monday through Friday, and noon to 2 am, Saturday and Sunday.