By Scott Bailey, San Antonio Business Journal
Hemisfair Park Area Redevelopment Corp. is tapping into San Antonio’s rich beer history to bring new economic life to the site of the 1968 World’s Fair.
San Antonio Brewing Co. plans to transform the historic OK Bar building into a new brewpub that will offer craft beers which reflect the city’s diverse mix of German, Czech, Mexican and Texan culture.
“We were searching not just for great businesses, but also for park activators,” said HPARC’s Drew Hicks about the decision to include San Antonio Brewing Co. as one of the revitalized Hemisfair’s first tenants. “We wanted to find businesses that would be partners in the Hemisfair redevelopment.”
The San Antonio Brewing Co. ownership group will include German-born brewer Vera Deckard and husband Brent Deckard. The brewpub will specialize in German pub food.
“We were looking for a location for a couple of years,” said Vera Decker, explaining that the goal was to find space in the downtown area. “We had just about given up.”
Then Deckard learned about the opportunities at Hemisfair and the San Antonio Brewing Co. owners worked to sell HPARC officials on their plan.
The brewpub will take the space where San Antonio B-Cycle headquarters are currently located. B-Cycle plans to relocate to other space at Hemisfair.
Deckard said the brewpub will have multiple beer garden areas that tie into the redeveloped park space at Hemisfair.
“San Antonio Brewing Co. came to us with a great story and a great product,” Hicks said. “They wanted to bring craft beer and charcuterie, a true family-friendly ice house environment, to Hemisfair.
Initially, HPARC had considered offering space in the Pereida House to San Antonio Brewing Co. However, Hicks said there were concerns about the logistics of moving heavy brewing equipment into the historic home. Plans now call for B-Cycle to move into the Pereida House.
“It’s a win for the tenants, a win for Hemisfair and a tip of the hat to the history of this neighborhood,” added Hicks about the planned brewpub, which could open as soon as November.
“It really is a dream come true,” said Deckard about the opportunity to build one of the first new businesses in a transformed Hemisfair.