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(Courtesy Boerne Kendall County Economic Development Corp.)

Editor's Note: With a new brewery popping up in San Antonio seemingly every month, we're brewing up a new column to track all things beer in Alamo City.

Boerne’s brewing scene grows
Despite the closure of Boerne Brewery in 2022, the craft brewing community in the Boerne/Comfort area continues to expand and further showcase the Texas Hill Country as a destination for fans of locally produced beer — as well as wine and spirits. Local homebrewer Donald Kretz plans to bring his recipes to the masses this spring with the planned launch of 28 Songs Brewhouse and Kitchen.

(Courtesy Boerne Kendall County Economic Development Corp.)

Donald Kretz, owner of 28 Songs Brewhouse and Kitchen, shows the new signage that a contractor is placing for the brewpub, which will occupy the former Main and Market building at 110 Market Ave. in Boerne.

A veteran who fostered a successful career in the defense/intelligence industry, Kretz is now focused on turning his love for craft brewing into his own full-fledged brewpub. In early January, Kretz and his team began renovating the former Main and Market building at 110 Market Avenue, north of downtown Boerne, where four breweries — Cibolo Creek, Tusculum, Free Roam, and Dodging Duck — all sit within walking distance of each other.

Kretz is using a newly created Facebook page to keep people updated on the brewery's construction progress. In one post, he explained that the name 28 Songs refers to how cardinals can sing 28 different songs, adding that many people in this region feel a spiritual connection to the bird.

According to Kretz, the new nano-brewery will include indoor and outdoor seating for more than 150 people, a five-barrel brew house, and 28 taps to handle a lineup of original core beers and a rotation of small-batch brews.

Additionally, 28 Songs will have live music, a jukebox, games, multiple televisions, and a variety of pub grub made in house. The planned food menu will include appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, salads, flatbread pizzas, and desserts.

Progress at Breakaway Brewing
Meanwhile, San Antonio’s next brewery is humming along. Owners of Breakaway Brewing Co. said in mid-January that beer production has begun at their fledgling East Side facility. The husband and wife team of Chris and Jean Pal-Freeman are developing the cycling-themed brewery in the Government Hill neighborhood next to Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.

According to Breakaway Brewing, interviews for food positions are underway, and the first batch of company merchandise has arrived. The owners have been eyeing an opening timeframe in late January or early February.

Weathered Souls making more friends
January 28 will be a big day at Weathered Souls Brewing Co.: That’s when their inaugural Weathered Souls and Friends event takes place, offering visitors a chance to try a few beers produced by more than 20 breweries located around Texas and nationwide.

The idea here, according to Weathered Souls, is to bring bits of different types of small, independent breweries to local craft beer fans who do not get to travel much.

Participating breweries include Baa Baa Brewhouse and Ingenious Brewing — both from Texas — Good Word Brewing & Public House from Georgia, and Claimstake Brewing from California. The fun at Weathered Souls begins at 11 am on January 28.

Photo courtesy of Pinstack

7 things to know in San Antonio food right now: Upscale bowling venue stacks up new Far North Side location

News You Can Eat

Editor’s note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the fast pace of San Antonio’s restaurant and bar scene. We have you covered with our regular roundup of essential food news.

Openings and closings

Dallas-based entertainment hub Pinstack is aiming to roll a double in San Antonio. Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation records reveal the company is building out a new location at 19238 I-10 W. After a pandemic delay, the concept opened its first Alamo City outpost at 742 NW Loop 410 #201 in November 2022. The new Pinstack promises more of the same, offering upscale food with family friendly fun.

Locally owned Stout House is also expanding its footprint. Via social media, the watering hole shared owner Doug Ackerly’s news that two new locations are pouring into the Far West Side. First out of the gate will be an outpost at Alamo Ranch Parkway and Alamo Parkway, opening in late February or early March. Hot on its tails will be a space at Culebra Road and Tally Road, opening “three weeks behind.”

A Houston-based seafood chain with a Latin American twist will soon be docking in San Antonio. According to a recent filing with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, Mambo Seafood is converting the former Joe’s Crab Shack at 4711 NW Loop 410 into its first area outpost. Once open, diners can expect fried fish, shrimp platters, seafood cocktails, and signature rice bowls.

Continuing his ambitious 2022 path, local nightlife juggernaut Adrian Martinez is opening another Smoke BBQ+ Skybar near North Star Mall. The concept took to social media on January 3 to announce that it was taking over the vacated Miami Bar space at 602 NW Loop 410 for a new chain location. Martinez operates four locations in San Antonio and an outpost in Corpus Christi.

Residents of Castle Hills will soon wake up to a new Clear Light Coffee Co. location. The shop shared that a special use permit was approved for a second spot at West Avenue and Northwest Military Highway. In addition to caffeine, it will serve various small bites and wine. The opening date is still pending.

Other news and notes

Chicken-fried steak staple Josephine Street is taking a breather in January for maintenance. Via Instagram, the long-running restaurant said it would be out of action starting January 2. Fans of home-style food need not worry, however. The gravy will flow again on January 23.

Curry Boys BBQ is ready for its close-up. The critically acclaimed eatery announced on Instagram that it will be featured on PBS’ Planet Barbecue, hosted by Steve Raichlen. Though the schedule hasn’t been announced yet, the series debuts in May.

Brewery Running Series

Texas Brewery Running Series presents Brewery Running Series: Ranger Creek 5K Run

Texas Brewery Running Series will present its Brewery Running Series: Ranger Creek 5K Run. The event features a 5k-ish course that starts and ends at Ranger Creek and weaves throughout the surrounding neighborhood.

All participants will receive a craft brew at the finish line from Ranger Creek Brewing and Distilling, a choice of a collector’s pint glass or seasonal swag item from the Brewery Running Series, a chance to win door prizes, like Brewery Running Series merchandise or beer to take home, access to event festivities like live music, games, goodies and giveaways, and more.

6 things to know about San Antonio food right now: Buzzy vegan chain flies downtown coop

News you can eat

Editor’s note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the fast pace of San Antonio’s restaurant and bar scene. We have you covered with our regular roundup of essential food news.

Openings and closings

After two years of explosive growth, vegan chain Project Pollo is unexpectedly contracting. In an Instagram statement, the brand broke the news that it was shuttering its original trailer at Roadmap Brewing. The owners explained that they would make “drastic changes” in 2023 “to focus on efficiency and guest service.” Project Pollo also will be relocating a kiosk location in Austin, though have yet to announce a new landing spot. Meanwhile, the decidedly carnivorous Last Place Burgers will be rolling into Roadmap starting January 14.

University of Texas San Antonio favorite The Well has tapped out after almost seven years in business. In a Facebook post, the owners thanked the local community for its support without offering any reasoning behind the decision. Fortunately, the building will not remain vacant. A third location of Big’z Burger Joint is sliding in on January 13.

It’s out with flavored sodas and in with … flavored sodas as Utah chain Fiiz Drinks takes over the former Sonic Drive-In location at 3521 Broadway St. In December, signage appeared on the long-vacant Alamo Heights lot announcing the move. The company, however, has yet to make any official announcement. Once open, the eatery will serve various technicolor drinks and snacks like pretzels, nachos, and cookie dough bites.

Bust out that Fashion Nova haul. A new nightclub is moving into the former V Lounge space at 107 E. Martin St. downtown. Exact details about Rio Azùl are still forthcoming, but promotional materials promise the club will thump Latin pop and dance and offer a glitzy, Vegas-like experience.

Other news and notes

Two of Alamo City’s breweries have made the jump to full-service brewpubs. First, Freetail Brewing announced the previously teased kitchen at its 2000 S. Presa taproom was open. Now, Southtown revelers can enjoy pizza along with their pints.

East Side watering hole Black Laboratory Brewing soon followed suit with its own pizza kitchen opening on January 4. The project is a partnership with 2-1-Dough Pizza Co., using the adjoining space recently vacated by Truth Pizzeria in October. In addition to pies, the brewpub will be offering sandwiches, salads, and shareable appetizers.

Free Roam Brewing Company presents Run for Beer 5k

Free Roam Brewing Company will present Run for Beer 5K. The event features a 5k-ish course that starts and ends at the new taproom.

Participants will get a free craft brew from Free Roam Brewing, their choice of a seasonal swag item from the Brewery Running Series, a chance to win door prizes, like Brewery Running Series merchandise or a growler to take home, and access to event festivities like live music, games, goodies, and giveaways.

8 things to know in San Antonio food right now: Neighborhood bar wiggles back to Broadway

NEWS YOU CAN EAT

Editor’s note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the fast pace of San Antonio’s restaurant and bar scene. We have you covered with our regular roundup of essential food news.

Openings and closings

The Pigpen Neighborhood Bar is wiggling its way out of a lengthy Covid closure. The Broadway mainstay took to Facebook on October 24 to announce it had ended its two-year hiatus. The family friendly destination has been on hold since June 2020, when Governor Greg Abbott closed Texas bars a second time in response to the pandemic. Although the post did not elaborate on the prolonged absence, it revealed that it would serve the same menu as before.

Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery also reemerged on October 24 after a brief reset. The Pearl staple shuttered on August 22 to undergo a few improvements. Among them were a few new menu items like stuffed ruby red trout, fried calamari, and classic Southern barbecue shrimp.

A new Peruvian concept has pounced on the former location of Tutti’s: A Place for Foodies in Southtown. Leche de Tigre, at 318 E. Cevallos St., is keeping its opening date mum. Still, diners can water their mouths by perusing an online menu full of cebiches, traditional favorites like lomo saltado, and pisco-based cocktails.

Anticipated arcade bar Be Kind & Rewind is officially pressing play at 115 Alamo Plaza on October 28. Owner Alex Amaro has stripped the former Fuddruckers of its workaday vibes, replacing it with neon and blacklight. Opening weekend will take full advantage of the retro set with an ‘80s night on Friday, a ‘90s/ Y2K party on Saturday, and karaoke on Sunday. Expect at least one version of “I Want it That Way.”

East Side spot Truth Pizzeria has bid arrivederci to San Antonio, according to an October 13 social media post. The small restaurant opened in the heat of the pandemic in June 2020, serving a menu of Neapolitan pies. The message did not offer an explanation for the sudden closure.

In brighter East Side news, trailblazing food truck park the Boardwalk on Bulverde is set to reopen in 2023. The space opened in 2011 as San Antonio’s first food truck park, closing in 2016 so the owners could focus on their Cruising Kitchens business. In a social media post, the team shared that it brought the concept back to address a need for “more impactful community activities.”

The Hill Country will taste la belle vie on November 1 when Bakery Lorraine opens its sixth location in Boerne. Located at 134 Oak Park Dr., the shop will serve the same sandwiches, salads, and pastries as the other outposts. Following the unveiling, guests can get their macaron fix Monday through Thursday from 7 am-6 pm. and Friday through Sunday from 7 am-8 pm.

Ahead of its first anniversary, Bubby’s Jewish Soul Food is getting a facelift. Owners Jason and Charlie Nuttall-Fiske announced the temporary closure on October 25, explaining the move is intended to “amp up [the] Bubby’s experience.” An expanded menu, gussied-up interior, and other improvements will be unveiled at a birthday celebration on November 14.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

San Antonio suburb among the richest places in Texas for 2023, plus more top stories

Hot Headlines

Editor’s note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. Here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. San Antonio suburb cashes in among the richest places in Texas for 2023. Alamo Heights has been renamed the third richest place in Texas for 2023 in a recent study.

2. San Antonio home sales slowed in December 2022, report finds. San Antonio sold 36,477 homes all year, a 10 percent decrease from 2021.

3. Here are the top 5 things to do in San Antonio this weekend. Nina Simone, Pink Floyd, the Beatles and more music-centered events made our roundup of the best things to do in Alamo City this weekend.

4. San Antonio Home & Garden Show returns with HGTV star. Ati Williams will headline the San Antonio Spring Home & Garden Show, which takes place February 24-26.

5. H-E-B opens first location in growing San Antonio suburb. The state-of-the-art facility offers 110,000 square feet of floor space, providing everything from cat food to charcuterie.


Popular Pearl brunch spot remixes with new weekend DJ nights

OONCE OONCE OONCE

Though Full Goods Diner has barely been open for half a year, it has already become a San Antonio staple for working weekday lunches and lingering Sunday Fundays. Now the Pearl eatery is looking to be a hot spot after dark.

Via release, the popular local haunt just announced a new limited-time music series, Full Goods at Night. Starting on February 2, Full Goods Diner will open select evenings throughout the month.

The Full Goods at Night series will feature popular local San Antonio DJs, including El West Side Sound, Hector Gallego, DJ Plata, Steven Lee Moya, and Cami Gee. Guests can enjoy live sets while indulging in a specially curated food and drink offerings.

The menu will include some of Full Goods Diner's best—selling items, such as French toast sticks, barbacoa waffle fries, and jumbo cheesy tots. Libations like the Attaboy Negroni, Royal Bermuda Daiquiri, Pink G&T, and more will fuel the festivities.

In addition to enjoying moonlight brunch, guests can relish some prime people-watching. And, of course, the restaurant is just a hop from other nightlife destinations like Pink Hill, 3 Star Bar, and Summer Camp Bar, making it the perfect party starter.

The series runs every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from February 2-25, 6-10 pm. The complete DJ schedule is listed below.

February 2 — El West Side Sound·
February 3 — Hector Gallego
February 4— DJ Plata
February 9 — El West Side Sound
February 10 — Steven Lee Moya
February 11 — Cami Gee
February 16 — El West Side Sound
February 17 — Steven Lee Moya
February 18 — Hector Gallego
February 23 — El West Side Sound
February 24— Steven Lee Moya
February 25 — DJ Plata

4 San Antonio culinary pioneers win $21K from the Texas Food & Wine Alliance

CULINARY INNOVATION

Texas’ skyrocketing culinary scene is about to get a huge boost. The Texas Food & Wine Alliance’s grant program has awarded $107,500 to 19 culinary innovators around the state. This marks the Alliance’s 11th year providing funding to support culinary projects contributing to local communities.

The award winners were announced in a ceremony at Austin's Holdsworth Center on January 21. A private panel of distinguished culinary experts chose the winners out of 40 grant applications this year. Nine winners hail from Austin, three from Dallas-Fort Worth, three from Houston, and four from San Antonio. The awards range from $1,500 to $10,000, with a special $25,000 grant investment from Austin favorite Tito’s Handmade Vodka in honor of the company’s 25th anniversary. Grant funding will support chefs, farms, and culinary education groups, among others.

Out of the four San Antonio area winners, Talking Tree Farm received the most from the grant program, $6,250 to purchase shipping containers for storage and to buy a solar-powered cold room for their harvests. John Marshall High School’s culinary arts program will use their $5,000 grant to establish a morning café. Agricultural project Habitable Spaces and pasture-raised chicken farm Cielito Lindo Farm also won $5,000 each to purchase equipment or build infrastructure to further their endeavors in the culinary space.

Austin-area winners received the most funding from the grant program, totalling $53,750, while San Antonio winners received $21,250 in total. Dallas/Fort Worth winners were awarded $19,750, and the three Houston recipients won $12,750. All of the 2022 winners reflect just how diverse the state's trailblazing culinary scene continues to expand.

“All of this year’s funded projects will further enrich the state through innovation and giveback,” said Erika White, executive director of the Alliance. “We’re extremely grateful to each of the Texas communities, our sponsors and their support in allowing us to reward these mold-breaking projects.”

In Austin, organic farm Trosi Farms was awarded the most funding ($10,000), which will help construct a germination shed for more stable plant start production. Locavore pioneer Boggy Creek Farm won $7,500 in grants to provide ADA-compliant accessibility to their new climate-controlled Tomato House, while Texas’ first organic feed mill, Coyote Creek Organic Feed Mill & Farm, received $6,250 to help purchase a building to be used as a store for the local community.

The six other Austin area grant recipients, each winning $5,000, include Vista Farms at Vista Brewing, Jamaican family business Tierra Todun ATX, coffee roasters Rising Tide Roast Collaborative, culinary educator Chef Pascal Simon from Bake Austin, East Austin food truck Community Vegan, and Latinx pastry project Comadre Panaderia (who also just earned a James Beard nomination). All winners will be able to use their grants to improve efficiency and expand their businesses, or in Chef Pascal's case, further research and development for her upcoming cookbook for Gen-Z young adults.

After starting the program in Austin, grant co-chair and TFWA past president Cathy Cochran-Lewis says it was the Alliance’s dream to expand the grant statewide.

“We’re so humbled and thrilled to now not only support worthwhile projects across Texas but also to give more than a half million dollars in funding over the last decade to help dreams come true,” she says. “This is a tribute to the culinary talent and the community mindset we are lucky to have in our state.”

The winners in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston areas include:

For this year's Honorable Mention, the Alliance chose San Antonio eatery Tacos Cucuy, who will soon open a brick-and-mortar space with an expanded menu. Tacos Cucuy are currently looking for support to develop a Tex-Mex charcuterie program called La Cura Carnes Especiales.

More information about the 2022 grants and its recipients can be found on texasfoodandwinealliance.org.