Austin entrepreneurs plan to open cluster of bars on North Alamo in downtown San Antonio | Drink | San Antonio

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SA Heron / Ben Olivo

An Austin partnership plans to convert this cluster of buildings at 901 N. Alamo St. into four bars.

Two Austin entrepreneurs plan to add to the growing bar district on North Alamo Street by renovating a cluster of buildings behind Grunt Style’s headquarters into four bars with distinct personalities, including a live performance venue.

Wade Nguyen and Rouhi Alameddine, known for operating the Hen House lounge bar in downtown Austin, are working on architectural plans for the bars, which could include a sports bar, cocktail bar, DJ room and a bar in an old house sitting on the property, Alameddine said in an interview.

“We were looking here, and we saw this building that we really liked. And this field is booming,” said Alameddine. “I love San Antonio in general. The culture, the old buildings, its history.”

The Vault Boy-esque mascot for the former Ace Spring Service.  -SA HERON / BEN OLIVO

SA Heron / Ben Olivo

The Vault Boy-esque mascot for the former Ace Spring Service.

Each of the bars will be in an existing structure, Alameddine said. The partnership hopes to begin renovations in the coming months. He hopes to open the first bar towards the end of the year.

In addition to the home, which features a two-story lanai, the 0.46-acre property at 901 N. Alamo St. includes a corrugated-iron-clad warehouse that once served as the location of the Ace Automotive Shop. Spring Service.

County deed records show Nguyen and Alameddine’s partnership, 901 North Alamo LLC, purchased the property May 26 from local Hudson Crocket Holdings. Alameddine declined to share the purchase price.

He said he and Nguyen were partners at the Hen House in downtown Austin. Nguyen separately operates Abby’s Crab Shack in South Austin, he said. Neither of them made any plans in San Antonio.

They will likely serve bar food and tacos at their North Alamo bars, he said.

“It’s all San Antonio, you know? Alameddine spoke about their plans. “The culture is different here than in Austin. It’s a different crowd, everything is different. It’s very family oriented, Mexico oriented.

For the past five years or so, the area around the North Alamo, south of Broadway, has been a growing hotspot for bars with the arrival of companies such as Roadmap Brewing Co., Bentley’s Beer Garden, La Roca Cantina and SocialSpot; and the re-emergence of Tony’s Bar as Tony’s Siesta. The Lucky Duck, a bar on East Sixth Street in Austin, recently opened a location one block from the North Alamo from its site.

Local developers have big plans for this downtown area. North of Broadway, a partnership between Hixon Properties and the Cavender family recently built an upscale office building, The Soto, and plans a market that would include a brewery and cafe.

Most of the block where Nguyen and Alameddine’s partnership purchased the property is owned by a partnership named 930 Broadway Ltd. which is led by developers David Adelman and Ed Cross, according to state filings.

Click to enlarge This brick building could become its own bar within the 901 N. Alamo St. group of buildings - SA HERON / BEN OLIVO

SA Heron / Ben Olivo

This brick building could become its own bar within the cluster of buildings at 901 N. Alamo St.

Click to enlarge The former Ace Spring Service auto store.  -SA HERON / BEN OLIVO

SA Heron / Ben Olivo

The former Ace Spring Service auto store.

Click to enlarge The old two-storey house could become its own place on the property.  -SA HERON / BEN OLIVO

SA Heron / Ben Olivo

The old two-storey house could become its own place on the property.

Click to enlarge A look down North Alamo Street.  -SA HERON / BEN OLIVO

SA Heron / Ben Olivo

A look down North Alamo Street.

Click to enlarge A calavera by @dodznft.  -SA HERON / BEN OLIVO

SA Heron / Ben Olivo

A calavera by @dodznft.

Click to enlarge The sign for the old Ace Spring Service advertises coil springs, leaf springs, U-bolts and other automotive services.  -SA HERON / BEN OLIVO

SA Heron / Ben Olivo

The sign for the old Ace Spring Service advertises coil springs, leaf springs, U-bolts and other automotive services.

Richard Webner is a freelance journalist covering Austin and San Antonio, and a former business reporter for San Antonio Express-News. Follow him on @RWebner on Twitter

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This story was originally published by the San Antonio Heron, a Non-profit news organization dedicated to informing its readers about changes in downtown and surrounding communities.

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