The story of our restaurant has to start with our location. The house at 602 Avenue A was built by a man named Ernst Charles Mueller. Ernst Mueller, a German immigrant, moved to San Antonio in the late 1800s and became the Chief Cooper at the Pearl Brewery. He was invited to San Antonio by his friend, Ignatz Hrovat, who had assumed the position of Brewmaster at the Pearl Brewery.
Soon after Ernst Mueller arrived in San Antonio he married another German immigrant named Agatha Brun on June 6, 1906. Agatha Brun was Ignatz Hrovat’s sister-in-law so the two long time friends, Ignatz and Ernest, were now brothers-in-law. The wedding ceremony took place right in Ignatz Hrovat’s home at 606 Avenue A which was just across from the Pearl Brewery. The two couples soon became neighbors as the Muellers built and moved in next door at 602 Avenue A, where our restaurant currently resides.
The house the Muellers built was considered to be quite large at that time and they soon started a family of four. All four children were born in the front bedroom of the house; those were the days when doctors actually made house visits.
Lucille, the oldest of the Mueller’s children, grew up and married a man named Herman Wolf. They continued living in San Antonio and their children Ralph and Herman Wolf Jr. still live here in
The Mueller’s twin boys, Roy and Roland, grew up to serve in the United States military and fought in World War II. They both returned to San Antonio after the war to settle down and Roland lived in 602 Avenue A looking after his mother, Agatha Mueller, for many years.
Two of the Mueller’s grandsons, Herman Wolf and Ralph Wolf, still live here in San Antonio and we have had the pleasure of getting to know them. They speak of great memories of their own joyful time here in “Oma’s Haus” as they called it growing up. They speak specifically of memories of their grandmother, Agatha, creating fantastic meals for Christmas and Thanksgiving.
The whole house would be filled from the porch to the living room with family and good food. They also seem to recall beer being consumed in the house, even during Prohibition! The house at 602 Avenue A remained in the Mueller family all the way up until 2004. At that time the house was sold along with the rest of the brewery to be transformed into what is now known as simply The Pearl. We feel a great privilege and honor to be able to carry on the tradition of family and great food that clearly was a mainstay in this house beginning over a century ago. We hope that you can share in this experience and enjoy impeccable food and drink, and make some memories of your own when you come to visit us at The Granary.
The original Pearl Brewery was founded in 1883 as the second brewery established in San Antonio. When it was first established the brewery was known as the San Antonio Brewing Company and retained that name until 1952 when it was officially changed to the Pearl Brewing Company named after its flagship beer. In 1886 the first kegs and barrels of the ubiquitous Pearl beer were rolling off the production line and into local bars and restaurants. The recipe for Pearl beer was formulated in Germany by the Kaiser Beck Brewery (Beck Beer) and was given the name “Pearl” because the brew master thought the bubbles in the head of the beer resembled sparklingly pearls.
Pearl Lager anchored the brewery and helped it to become the largest brewery in Texas before prohibition. When Prohibition was enacted in 1919 it was a death sentence for most breweries across America, but the leaders of Pearl got creative and survived the 13 years of Prohibition by venturing into the food and creamery business as well as by selling sodas and near beer. Before Prohibition there were over 2,500 breweries in the United States, by the time Prohibition was repealed there were only about 600 left and that number continued to drop as breweries began to consolidate in the post Prohibition market place.
Pearl continued its previous growth after Prohibition and became a national brand, competing heavily with San Antonio’s other local brewery the Lone Star Brewery. Eventually the Pearl fell on hard times while trying to compete with the larger Anhueser Busch and Miller breweries and In 1985 the brewery was purchased by the Pabst Brewing Company. Pearl Lager was still being produced at the brewery until 2001 when Pabst closed down all beer production at the facility for good.
The property sat vacant for several months and most locals feared that the historic site would be bull dozed. However, in a bright turn of events the entire 22 acre property was purchased in 2001 by the locally based Silver Ventures investment company. That purchase began the amazing transformation that is still in the works today as the Pearl becomes a live, work, and play community filled with exceptional restaurants, retail shops, beautiful lofts and work spaces. At The Granary we feel very privileged to be able to be a part of the great things happening at the Pearl.