Where We Took an Out of Town Friend

Funny, the last time I posted was on the last day of school for all four boys. I long for summer every year, and I love it. But I am quickly reminded that it is an animal all its own.

My husband had a friend visit recently who is a creative director for a company in Dallas. They met in college while in the same degree program. It was the first time he had been to our new home and the first time my husband had the opportunity to take him to a few sites in San Antonio.

I think it goes without saying that if you are coming to San Antonio for the first time you have to walk through the Alamo and the downtown area of the River Walk. His friend had already seen both. Awesome. Done. He had also been to the McNay Museum (another place worthy of checking out) when he came for our wedding years ago.

Here are my iPhone shots of where we ended up for the day with someone who also enjoys the creative side of life and the great outdoors, and that mentioned that I might like the store Anthropologie to my husband years ago. Friend for life, no?

We started with the historic Pearl Brewery on the River Walk. They are currently in the midst of expansion and construction. A new hotel, Hotel Emma, is in the works. I am really looking forward to its completion. I have high hopes for the design of the interior and the decor.


I love the beautiful variety of plants and flowers native to the area growing like crazy along both sides of the River Walk.


Areas of the expanded section of the River Walk incorporate public art. It’s unexpected and a treat to walk through and admire.


Check out the carved face at the back of the cave. It’s a little creepy, but cool!


More public art anyone?


We continued toward downtown and came to the San Antonio Museum of Art.


It’s exciting to see development along the River Walk. How neat would it be to live just across the bridge from the museum and a short walk from the farmer’s market and amazing restaurants?


I love these metal works of art found along the river. If I recall correctly, they were used in the World’s Fair in Taiwan.


We kept going and just past the museum came upon The Luxury: Haute Trailer Cuisine. The seating is all outdoors and the vibe is laid back, with a vintage flair. They offer cheffy food at affordable prices. The fries are delicious.

Riverwalkriverwalk Riverwalk

My husband’s friend spotted a coffee shop across the street called Rosella. You don’t have to ask me twice. Turned out to be a great find!


I love the exposed brick and the wooden beams.


Fantastic, large windows and high ceilings. There is additional seating upstairs and outdoors. I’m a huge fan of the trees and overhead lights in the courtyard.


The hibiscus flowers we passed heading back along the River Walk inspired me to plant a couple of them in my yard recently.


They are so beautiful and they come is such a gorgeous array of colors.


We headed back to The Pearl farmer’s market,


then on to delicious food at The Granary,


stopped at The Tiny Finch, where I fell in love with a fox clock


and this pillow fabric,


and passed beautiful signage and lighting for The Culinary Institute of America.

Culinary Institute

Next, we went to the Eilan Hotel with living and retail spaces said to be inspired by Tuscany.

Eilan Hotel Eilan HotelEilan Hotel

I love the carved details on the stairs that lead to the hotel’s front desk.

Eilan Hotel

Gorgeous flower arrangements were at the entrance.

Eilan Hotel

I thought about framing parts of the wrapping paper they had for sale in the gift shop.

Eilan Hotel

Lastly, we went to The Shops at La Cantera. I absolutely love the Mexican tiles used throughout the mall.


It is always fun to take friends and family to places they have never been that hold pieces of inspiration and enjoyment.


History Meets Hip at Pearl

San Antonio definitely had to grow on me. Despite the fact that the city is big in terms of population (ranked second largest city in TX), the city is not so big on being progressive. When an area of downtown that is home to the historic Pearl Brewery began displaying a rebirth with creativity, community and foodie flair, I got excited! The location is right next to the river, hosts a fantastic farmer’s market and eclectic restaurants and shops continue to open.

Throughout Pearl’s complex in the areas that have now become stores, restaurants, living or working spaces, materials and pieces from Pearl’s former life as a brewery have been repurposed and integrated into the artistry of the design. It’s awesome to see.

“The shelving at the Tiny Finch gift shop? Made from old roof joists from the 1881 brew house….The lighting at Arcade? Old yellow Falstaff crates. The chandelier outside Blue Box? That’s material from an old bottle labeler. And just about all the wood in the new Local Coffee was salvaged and reused.” source

San Antonio is definitely getting its cool on in this little part of town. Here is a look at history meets hip through photos of my trips to Pearl.


I love the juxtaposition of the historic buildings and contemporary design.


Latin American deliciousness served at Nao with a contemporary flair.


Just inside the doors of Nao.


Enter the brewhouse–now the site of a lively farmer’s market.

Pearl San Antonio

Pearl is also home to The Culinary Institute of America.


Saucepans turned light fixture outside The Culinary Institute of America.

culinary institute

The pipe in the background is covered in colorful knitting. I love how the green chairs become a part of the landscape.


Green Vegetarian Cuisine reused an existing building (circa 1896). Fresh herbs are grown in the landscape.


The light fixture is repurposed from tubing and glass from the former brewery. This little space makes me swoon.

Pearl elevator

Shop windows all dressed up for Fiesta. I love it when San Antonio gets its color on!

Fiesta windowIMG_0762

Residents getting in on the decorating.


Dogs getting in on the action too!

Dog in sombrero

My favorite place for barbecue has become The Granary. Chef Tim Rattray has created deliciousness here with his brother, the brewmaster. It is served in a beautiful historic home with a contemporary vibe.


I love the wallpaper outside of the Granary’s bathroom.


Shopping anyone?


The repurposed wood incorporated into the design of Local Coffee is a beautiful site to see.


They offer several different brewing methods, which I find delightful.


Unique roller conveyer turned table kept this guy occupied the entire time we were there.


Spring has sprung in Texas!


Talk about great design for a public restroom.


I love the colors in the gorgeous mural on the side of the restaurant La Gloria that we pass coming and going to Pearl.


Pearl has become a great place to hang out, get outdoors, support your local farmers and shops, enjoy delicious food and get inspired about great design. I look forward to going each time and it’s exciting to see the area continue to flourish!