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A New Brew

Friday, June 27th, 2014

Images courtesy of Ryann Ford Photography 

The legacy of San Antonio’s Pearl Brewery can be traced back to 1881, when it was founded as the second brewery in the city. After decades of service as a working brewery, Pearl was decommissioned in 2001, leaving a sprawling, defunct campus with a bevy of empty building stock in San Antonio’s urban core. Silver Ventures bought the 22-acre parcel with the intent to create a dynamic culinary and cultural destination for locals and tourists alike. The former home of chief cooper Ernst Mueller is one of the latest developments in the 12- year process, becoming the “new” home for The Granary Cue N’ Brew restaurant.

The Granary is a working artifact: It’s both a piece of Pearl history and a sign of new progress. The historic home was adapted for its new use as a restaurant/brewery by architect Kristin Hefty of the San Antonio-based Dado Group to serve this new urban community and its influx of residents. What sets The Granary apart, however, is the balance it has struck between preservation and progress.

The existing Mueller House had no working utilities, its interiors were worn and outdated, and the configuration of spaces was not suitable for restaurant needs. Dado Group wrapped the new kitchen, dining porch, and screened porch around three sides of the house. The contemporary structure is constructed of bricks salvaged from a dismantled west Texas mercantile warehouse, while the side dining porch is a modern, simple interpretation of the historic front porch.

To showcase the restaurant’s commitment to the community, Dado Group also worked with local artists, including glassblower Jake Zollie Harper, who designed the restaurant’s lighting; artist Amada Miller, who created the exterior mural; wood artist Rain Gilbert, who designed and fabricated custom tables and chairs; and artist Greg Mannino, who consulted on the color and décor and art production. In a complex characterized by new construction, the Granary has energized an otherwise dilapidated home into a vibrant new environment that balances the site’s historic past with a fresh, contemporary vibe.

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