Scott Ball / Rivard Report
Though still uncertain, the Lone Star Brewery District‘s character came into clearer focus Tuesday with the announcement of two future tenants – an international movie theater chain and an expanding, Denver-based bar and restaurant that targets Millennials with vintage games and a “dirty modern” feel.
“We are thrilled to announce Cinemark and Punch Bowl Social as the first major tenants at the Lone Star Brewery District,” CBL Properties & Associates, Inc. Vice President of Development David Neuhoff stated in an email. “Both of these exciting entertainment venues fill a void in the Southtown market and fit perfectly with our vision of providing San Antonio with an unparalleled entertainment, retail, and dining experience.”
Peering down on the River Walk, about a mile downstream from Southtown’s Blue Star Complex, the $300 million development will provide a fairly even spread of retail, office, restaurant, and entertainment spaces, as well as a small hotel, by late 2018.
As with the Pearl Brewery, architects say they plan to root the space in its history by capitalizing on original structures and design elements, such as Lone Star’s classic white and red colors and railroad tracks.
(Read more: Ambitious Plans Take Shape at Lone Star Brewery)
The developers’ first two tenants will bring the strip-mall-style entertainment of the nation’s third-largest movie chain together with the authenticity of scratch kitchen cooking and crafted beverages.
Of its 522 theaters spanning 41 states and 14 countries, Cinemark has two San Antonio locations already, one in Leon Valley off of Loop 410 and another in the southeast, located at the McCreless Corner Shopping Center. According to developers, the theater’s Lone Star incarnation will include 10 auditoriums in a 34,500 sq. ft. space, with electric recliners, adjustable head and footrests, seat reservations, and a wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling large screen.
With an emphasis on eclectic design, quality food, cocktails, and a throwback to “simpler days,” Punch Bowl Social’s open, 25,000 sq. ft. space will provide activities like bowling, karaoke, pool, shuffleboard, and arcade games. With locations in Denver, Cleveland, South Chicago, Portland, Austin, Detroit, and Indianapolis, the restaurant is expanding rapidly by adopting a local feel in each of its diverse locations and conveying a sense of authenticity in what it serves.
Constructed in 1933 when an end to prohibition allowed Lone Star to resume operations, the brewery produced an array of historic beers beginning in 1940 until the company moved to Longview, Texas in 1996. During this time, visitors came from all over to party, swim in an Olympic-sized pool, and enjoy a number of other attractions.
Hoping to revitalize the brewery’s role as a communal focal point, developers say they’ve reached out to Lone Star, Roosevelt, King William, and Lavaca neighborhood associations and worked closely with the City. They’ve also incorporated this attitude in their design. At the site’s center, across from the hotel and a tree-speckled lawn, a Market Exchange surrounded by food stalls and restaurants will provide a central gathering space for the district. Directly to the west, Cinemark will attract movie-goers while to the northeast, past Lone Star’s iconic rusting silos, Punch Bowl Social will provide a more active form of entertainment.
“We believe these first-class tenants will help us fulfill our vision of reviving the Lone Star Brewery District as a dynamic and vibrant mixed-use destination,” CBL & Associates Properties and Aqualand Development stated in a press release. “We look forward to announcing a mix of additional local, regional, and national tenants in the weeks to come.”
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article stated that the Lone Star Brewery was constructed in 1883. Lone Star launched operations under Adolphus Busch at the location where the San Antonio Museum of Art currently resides in 1884, ceased brewing operations in 1918 and throughout prohibition, and reassumed at the location along Mission Road in 1933.
Top Image: The recognizable Lone Star smoke stack will remain a permanent fixture in the future of the complex during a development tour of the historic Lone Star Brewery in Southtown on August 10, 2016. Photo by Scott Ball.