Hotly anticipated San Antonio sushi restaurant finally sets opening date
In 2020, Houston and Emily Carpenter transformed San Antonio’s dining scene with Little Em's Oyster Bar, a stylish ode to coastal cuisine in Southtown. Since then, they have opened four more concepts in a rapid clip ranging from a swanky Southern showpiece to a casual fish market.
With two young children at home and yet another restaurant on the way, one couldn’t blame them for taking a Rip Van Winkle slumber.
First, however, they will have to get to the home stretch of opening the feverishly anticipated Nineteen Hyaku in the new Jefferson Building at 1900 Broadway. Houston shares with CultureMap that the sushiya is gearing up for a September 27 debut.
Unlike many of the casual joints in Alamo City’s sushi scene, Nineteen Hyaku will be a luxury experience. In contrast to the maximalist tendencies of Carpenter Carpenter Hospitality’s previous ventures, the interior quietly celebrates materials. Architect Javier D. Alonso and interior designer Alegra Volpe greet guests with an expanse of Carrara marble and warm slatted wood walls.
The modernism continues to the plate with a large nigiri selection supplemented with rolls, tempura, Wagyu beef, and duck karaage. Robatayaki, a tableside grilled cooking method, will be available — as will be a coursed omakase option.
“Similar to our other concepts, we felt there was a need for it,” Houston explains of the concept. “Sushi in a beautiful space with unparalleled hospitality, San Antonio deserves it.”
Chef de cuisine Ruben Pantaleon will run the kitchen, drawing on his experience as the “tamago kid” at chains like Nobu and Roka Akor. General manager Brenda Carielo, an alum of Austin’s ELM Restaurant Group and MML Hospitality, will oversee the front-of-house.
Houston credits such pros with helping him juggle a busy home life and budding restaurant empire.
“It’s all about having a strong team, which we do,” he says. “They execute day-in, day-out, allowing us to grow the business and our family.”
Though Nineteen Hyaku is the last opening on the horizon, don’t expect the Carpenters to indulge in that long-awaited break. Houston hints that the portfolio may have room to grow.
“Not sure about rest, but we are definitely going to take the time to fine tune and build upon the foundations we have,” he says. “Stay tuned though!”