Open, open, open!
As in other cities, the San Antonio restaurant scene took a hit during the worst months of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that hasn’t stopped the boundless enthusiasm of the city’s restaurateurs. Despite pandemic challenges, a new crop of eateries and bars is primed to cut the red ribbon over the upcoming months. From a buzzy new concept from one of Austin’s most celebrated hospitality groups to a hot fast-casual spot from a beloved Alamo City influencer, here are the openings that are giving locals butterflies.
This full-service restaurant from the Maverick Restaurant Group practices the art of sprezzatura — making something challenging appear effortless. Chefs Robbie Nowlin and Chris Carlson have crafted a menu that will showcase a variety of seafood, quality cuts of meat, and pasta, combining French techniques with traditional Italian flavors. Though an opening date has not been announced just yet, San Antonians can expect to say ciao to the new concept when it opens in the Pearl’s Credit Human building by the end of the year.
Adjacent to Allora in the Broadway corridor’s Oxbow building, Arrosta will be a fast-casual cousin focusing on street foods and an on-the-go experience. Guests can look forward to rotisserie chicken, crisp salads, Italian sandwiches, and plenty of fried treats. Like Allora, the café is eyeing a debut by year’s end.
This high-end feather in the Landry’s restaurant group’s cap filed for a Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission permit this May for a location at 215 Losoya St., but the outpost is not currently listed on the Brenner’s website. It’s anyone’s guess when it will arrive on the River Walk or what exact fare it will serve. The other locations are known for luxe USDA prime steaks, classic steakhouse meats, and lengthy wine lists.
Like any proper dandy, this downtown pub from dapper Jet-Setter and Pastiche barman Benjamin Krick is leaving room for a little mystery. The British-style pub will be located in the former Hoppin’ John’s space in The Vistana apartment building, and the kitchen will be helmed by San Antonio musician-turned-food-truck-entrepreneur Matthew Rose of the Rosey’s Fish and Chips. However, few other particulars — including the opening date — have been revealed.
Gather Brewing Company
Mike Voeller, the owner of this upcoming Universal City brewery originally planned to be open in time to quench summer thirst but will have to make do with fall’s patio weather. Frequent social media updates have provided plenty to be excited about, however, including a menu of bar food favorites and brews like a kolsch, steam lager, and saison. The latest post may make local hop heads positively giddy. The final exterior sign was installed on November 7, meaning the opening is just days away.
Rene Fernandez, the chef and owner of Southtown’s Azuca Nuevo Latino, plans to greet Alamo City foodies with a new concept by the end of the year. Though details are scant about the exact dishes Hola! will serve, it will be focused on tapas and wine.
The Jerk Shack
Chef Nicola Blaque’s nationally acclaimed Jamaican eatery, currently hard at work on a new Far West Side home, will next set its sights on Central San Antonio. As early as spring 2022, the shack will open a new brick-and-mortar spot in the historic Schultze House in Hemisfair Park. The new addition to the rapidly expanding family will come with a few more bells and whistles, including a few upscale steakhouse-style dishes and a full cocktail bar.
Kura Revolving Sushi Bar
The Japanese conveyor-belt sushi concept will spin into San Antonio next spring, landing at Papouli’s Greek Grill’s former Alamo Quarry location. Though the local menu has not been announced yet, the other locations have a vast selection of nigiri, maki, and hand rolls, along with other specialties like ramen, udon, and takoyaki (fried octopus balls).
The first San Antonio restaurant from Austin’s revered Emmer & Rye Hospitality Group, Ladino will feature chef Berty Richter’s take on live-fire Jewish-Balkan cuisine. The eatery will bring new life to the Pearl’s currently vacant Il Sogno Osteria space sometime in the summer of 2022.
This Dallas-based franchise plans to freshen up Alamo City’s taco scene with several spots over the coming years. The first will dive into the Bulverde Marketplace at 17026 Bulverde Rd. this fall with 20 street taco variations, including Baja shrimp, roasted pork, and fried chicken — all of which can be amped up with made-from-scratch salsa.
Tex’s Hot Chicken
Restaurateur Cary Hamer, owner of Infernos Wood-Fired Oven & Spirit, and popular television personality David Elder announced this spicy chicken concept to a flurry of excitement in April. Since then, social media channels have gone dark. The original release projected a brick-and-mortar in Cibolo debuting by fall or early winter.