The beers are aging in their tanks and barrels. The brick oven has been set up in the kitchen, and test runs are in progress. The serving dishes have been delivered. The final steps are being put in place before Southerleigh opens at the Pearl Brewery.
The latest restaurant and brewery in the complex will be a showplace for Texas and Southern comfort food with a coastal influence, says chef Jeff Balfour, a Galveston native and fan of what the gulf has to offer. Plus, you can expect some foods, from mussels to pretzels, designed to pair with the beers on tap.
The exact opening date still isn’t certain, but Balfour is hopeful to have the certificate of occupancy by the beginning of the April. A preview party is being held March 29 as part of the closing festivities of San Antonio Beer Week.
In the meantime, the chef has been putting the finishing touches on his menu, while head brewer Les Locke gets his beers ready for the taps. In addition to the series of copper and stainless tanks, Locke is also aging some of his beers in pinot noir barrels from A to Z Wineworks, the winery in which Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich is a partner; others are in old bourbon or rum barrels.
There’s still plenty of work to be done, but major steps are being taken each day.
Out front, workers are making sure the garden space is ready for the first Sunday Pearl Farmers Market, which begins this weekend.
Inside Southerleigh, workers were just as busy. On Thursday, they hung a new chandelier made from pieces found in the original Pearl Brewery.
The designer didn’t want to overdo the old pieces but wanted to make sure that those used would stand out. They include a Pearl clock at the host’s stand by the door, roller conveyors over the open kitchen and the facades of the old brew tanks. They also include the original pillars, which are not being painted but being shown in their aged glory.
When it’s finished, Southerleigh’s main dining area will seat about 140, while extra space can be had in front of the open kitchen, in the bar and out on the patio. A private dining room for up to 15 will be housed in the silo out front.
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