Paleteria San Antonio, the first business to open up shop within Hemisfair's recently redeveloped Yanaguana Garden playscape, will celebrate its grand opening on Tuesday, June 7 from 5-6:30 p.m. at its location in the historic Pereida House.
Paleteria owners and staff will host a public grand opening complete with music and free paletas in tamarindo, bubblegum, lime, watermelon and lucas, and peaches and cream flavors. The event falls on the same evening as PechaKucha 22, a traveling series of informal presentations from locals with a story to tell or craft to share, which will be held at Yanaguana Garden at 7:30 p.m.
(Read More: PechaKucha to Take Over Yanaguana Garden)
Paleteria was one of four businesses chosen to operate out of mid and late nineteenth-century houses that have been adapted to serve the visiting public with paletas, coffee, lunch, dinner and beer. Paleteria shares the 1,640 sq. ft. house with San Antonio B-Cycle.
Yanaguana Garden was the first phase of Hemisfair's multi-million dollar master plan to create a space that attracts both locals and tourists of all ages and backgrounds. Construction is underway on the second phase, an eight-acre Civic Park that will connect the playground north to the Tower of Friendship and northeast to the new Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center with an expansive grand lawn, shaded corridors and cooling water features.
Each of the four businesses signed three-year contracts with Hemisfair Park Area Redevelopment Corporation (HPARC), the nonprofit in charge of rebuilding the park. The rent they pay to Hemisfair will be directly reinvested into the park's maintenance, operations and activation, said Hemisfair spokesperson Drew Hicks.
Con Safos, located in the Espinoza House, is slated to open late summer, Hicks said. Revolucion Coffee + Juice and San Antonio Brewing Company will start operations once the "high level" restoration of their new homes is complete.
(Read More: Hemisfair Announces First Four Business Tenants)
All the historic structures were built in the late 1800s and are listed as State Antiquities Landmarks (SALs). The strict protections that accompany that designation typically slow down the renovation process.
"We want to do justice to the homes. We want to do it right and quality takes time," Hicks said.
There are 22 historic properties in the Hemisfair district and almost all of them reside on public park land, which means tenants must be open and available to the general public – for anyone in San Antonio to enjoy. This excludes businesses such as private law offices or bed and breakfasts.
"These homes have been mothballed for a long time and it would be nice to open them up and be able to let San Antonians experience them," Hicks said. "That is our commitment."
Some of the larger properties will be split to accommodate more than one business. After the Yanaguana Gardens' properties are contracted out, Phase 2 and 3 of Hemisfair's redevelopment will tackle the historic properties that lie within Civic Park and Tower Park.
Top image: The Pereida House at Hemisfair Park. Photo by Rachel Holland.