San Antonio's first Tommy Bahama restaurant chills out at La Cantera
Sometime between when Halston’s name was first splattered on carpets and when Abercrombie & Fitch began gassing its shoppers with noxious cologne, clothing labels stopped fussing over the spread of collars and started obsessing over the spread of vibes. It tracks that lifestyle brands would now be fixated on telling their customers what to eat.
While department stores have long incorporated cafés and a handful of apparel lines have realized the benefits of having their flagship customers nosh on site, arguably no other retailer has incorporated its brand identity into cuisine as thoroughly as Tommy Bahama. Now, its San Antonio clientele can wear cocktails on their shirt while sipping them, too.
Texas’ first Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar will open in late February at the Shops at La Cantera. According to a release, the 7,500-square-foot space will integrate dining space with an open-plan retail store.
The eatery’s linen-clad habitués will enjoy dishes that demand “vacay all day.” Coconut shrimp, blackened mahi mahi tacos, and ahi poke bowls join more substantial bites like “Nashville” hot chicken sliders. Yes, the Tennessee city’s quotation marks are purposeful. While the Tommy Bahama customer may be fond of boot-scootin’, they do so in sandals.
Keeping with the resort feel, Marlin Bar offers a full bar with brightly hued margaritas and Mai Tais, martinis, wine, beer, and a few no-octane sippers. Desserts like a piña colada cake or key lime pie are perhaps expected, but no one hits the waves after destroying a black forest gateau.
Although interior pictures were not shared with the release, it promised unfussy décor accented with tropical wallpaper and original art. The other locations have distinct décor, but that is mostly telegraphed through heavy use of blond wood, rattan, and colorful tile. Thankfully, the chain leaves thatched roofs and faux palms to Margaritaville.
“The Marlin Bar concept is one of the ways Tommy Bahama is different from other lifestyle brands,” attested Doug Wood, CEO of Tommy Bahama, via the release. Maybe other companies ought to get in on the hustle. Imagine the possibilities if Shein moved from fast fashion to fast food.
Until that dystopian future, locals must be satisfied with Tommy Bahama’s island escape. But while waiting, they will neither be able to munch on filet mignon tacos nor try on polarized shades. While prepping for the debut of the Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar, the existing retail location will be temporarily shuttered. Once up-and-running, the spot will be open daily from 11 am to 10 pm.