New sites for old favorites are opening this month in one of San Antonio’s most historic buildings, a place where cutting-edge tech and startups are launched and grown.
Pinch Boil House and Bia Bar, a former pop-up Southeast Asian restaurant developed by longtime friends Sean Wen and Andrew Ho, will open its first brick-and-mortar location Friday on the southwest corner of the Rand Building at 110 E. Houston St.
On the other side of the building, Rosella Coffee, a locally owned café that first opened at 203 E. Jones Ave., is set to open its newest spot later this month.
Owned by Weston Urban, the Rand Building is home to Geekdom, Rackspace Open Cloud Academy, Google Fiber, and other tech companies, as well as the Rivard Report. For many years, the Rand housed employees of its neighbor, Frost Bank.
Pinch Boil House and Bia Bar
Pinch Boil House and Bia Bar’s owners say their place is a family-style restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere, designed as a casual spot for enjoying traditional seafood boils, street food, and beer.
The menu is inspired by Wen and Ho’s Southeast Asian culture and Houston upbringing, and ingredients are classically Vietnamese and Thai, with a side of familiar Gulf Coast flavors. The menu includes seafood boils of shrimp, crab, and seasonal crawfish smothered in Pinch’s signature garlic butter, and Vietnamese-style banh mis.
“Being able to tell a story about my culture has always been important to me. Food just happened to be the vehicle that allowed me to best narrate that story,” Wen said.
The restaurant also includes a Bia Bar – “bia” is “beer” in Vietnamese – that focuses on showcasing a variety of unique Southeast Asian-inspired beers. The beer list is made up of brews containing Southeast Asian ingredients – such as lemongrass, Thai basil, and other similar aromatics – or beers that pair well with classic Southeast Asian flavors.
When Pinch Boil House and Bia Bar opens, the restaurant’s hours will be Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. There is free garage parking in the building after 6 p.m.
Rosella at the Rand
Rosella Coffee first announced that it would create a second location at the Rand in February. Renovations to the 2,500-sq. ft. shop have been underway since.
Similar to the original location, the new Rosella will serve coffee, tea, food, and some alcoholic beverages. But the name, menu, decor, and style of the more spacious “Rosella at the Rand” will be slightly different. Patrick Wynn with Total Art Design and Architecture was the lead architect.
Rosella owner Charles Gonzalez, who named the coffee shop after his daughters, said that the inspiration for the new location’s design reflects the time period during which the Rand was constructed.
The Rand, designed by “skyscraper architects” Sanguinet and Staats of Fort Worth, was the tallest building in the city when it was constructed in 1913, according to the San Antonio Conservation Society. It was the home of the Wolff & Marx department store until 1965.