Today was a historic day at Pearl, and for the city as a whole. After being vacant for numerous years, the doors at Hotel Emma, located at 136 E. Grayson St., opened. After the press conference with opening remarks by Mayor Ivy Taylor, Christopher “Kit” Goldsbury and Mark Yanke, we walked through the doors. After walking around the halls I realized, describing Hotel Emma is quite the difficult task. It’s rustic, vintage, modern; it’s everything wrapped up into a 146-room, nationally known hotel.
In August, we had a sneak peek at Hotel Emma which was once a 19th century brewhouse. While many parts of the hotel have been renovated, a large part of the hotel still has accents of the over 100 year old brewhouse. Tile replicas from the original brewhouse can be found in the building, as well as many other fixtures and features from the brewery.
The bar, Sternewirth, which will hands down be one of the most popular bars in San Antonio, is lined with a valve system from the original air system in the brewery. The valves have been transformed into semicircle booths for privacy during your happy hour. Sternewirth also features long tables, Victorian styled chairs and couches, and a long, beautiful bar.
Supper is Hotel Emma’s restaurant and has a much more modern look that Sternewirth (I will forever have to double check if I am spelling that name correctly). Menu items include caramel apple and kale salad with comte, quince and macron almonds, honeycrisp apple and parsnip soup, and smoked crispy quail with pickled corn relish and gold potato puree.
After walking around for about 45 minutes, Jacqueline and I thought we had seen everything on the first floor of Hotel Emma, however, down a hallway we ran into Larder, a very pleasant surprise. Larder carries local groceries, wine, freshly prepared foods, baked goods and more. Oh, and very good coffee. One of our favorite items on the menu is the picnic basket which is composed of cheese, whole fruit, olives, nuts, hummus and bread. Perfect for taking out onto one of Hotel Emma’s serene patios.
Hotel Emma, named after Emma Koehler, the CEO who ran the brewhouse from 1916 to 1942, is now taking reservations.
What are you most excited to experience at Hotel Emma?