San Antonio: Construction Docs Complete on Pinkerton’s Barbecue by Frost Tower
Feature Photos (above): Clockwise from upper left–an exterior view of the Pinkerton’s Barbecue restaurant in Houston; food handlers at Pinkerton’s; and the bar. Images: Google Streets.
UPDATE: 2-20-2020 — City Council approved a development agreement today that would provide $225,000 for public improvements related to the Weston Urban Open Space/Pinkerton’s Barbecue project in Frost Park. The public improvements are to include pedestrian pathways, a promenade, pergola structures, and seating areas.
Also, new perimeter sidewalks, utilities to the site, and amenities for open space users with seating and beautification through landscaping, park furniture and upgraded technology.
The project team includes Michael G. Ember and Pape Dawson for architectural and engineering services, Turner Construction, and Troy Jesse Construction for the restaurant building and park improvements.
The funding mechanism is a reimbursable grant for eligible expenses that is being provided by the city’s Houston Street TIRZ.
UPDATE: 2-19-2020 — The Historic and Design Review Commission approved the request for Certificate of Appropriateness for the final designs on Pinkerton’s Barbecue.
The Conservation Society of San Antonio opposed the designs, mainly on the basis that the restaurant footprint was larger than the 4,000-to-5,000 square feet originally discussed. However, Weston Urban’s construction director, Katherine Fontenot, noted the air-conditioned portion of the building was within that specified range. The remainder of the building was designed to be open (unconditioned) so that it would better blend into and be part of the park.
Commissioner Scott Carpenter, who attended two pre-hearing sessions, noted at the Wednesday hearing that the original materials were more rustic and “rural” in nature. The architect responded to city staff and commissioners’ criticisms and changed materials–such as switching form a corrugated metal roof to a standing seam metal roof–to give the building a more urban aesthetic.
The private park, which is considered an extension of Frost Tower, has been undergoing a major remodeling. Fontenot said it is nearly complete and will open in April. She added that brick from the former Frost drive-thru bank, was reused as pavers in the park.
The Pinkerton’s Barbecue was deliberately placed off-center on the north end of the park, with the air-conditioned section nearer to the corner of Flores and Travis streets, in homage to a church that once stood at that location.
The new Frost Park site plan with area (upper left) designated for restaurant. Courtesy: Weston Urban.
Original Post: 2-18-2020
by Adolfo Pesquera
San Antonio (Bexar County) — Weston Urban’s plans for a barbecue restaurant in the park facing Frost Tower are reaching the construction stage, with the architect ready to seek a Certificate of Appropriateness on Wednesday from the Historic and Design Review Commission.
Aerial view of the new Frost Tower and the Frost Bank’s park. Pinkerton’s Barbecue will be located in the park area highlighted toward the north end. Image: Google Earth.
Since early 2019, Weston Urban has been collaborating with the owner of Pinkerton’s Barbecue, a popular Houston restaurant, to open a restaurant in the 1.15-acre downtown park that is bound by Flores, Houston, Main and Travis streets.
The proposed new construction will feature interior and exterior seating space and landscaping elements intended to integrate the restaurant experience into the park experience.
Weston Urban started the city review process for an “open space and restaurant” last May. Michael G. Imber, Architects were brought into the project to design the restaurant.
The HDRC’s Design Review Committee had their first look at the designs Jan. 29 and revisited the concepts on Feb. 11. At the first meeting, committee members commented on the relationship of the proposed new construction to its urban context, noted that it should feature more urban elements, include masonry elements, and discussed site circulation and surface entrances.
At the Feb. 11 meeting, members commented on siding profiles, discussed updates to the proposed new construction, materials, and mechanical and service equipment locations and storage.
Schematics of the north and south elevations. Courtesy: Michael G. Imber, Architects.
The building will have a total of 8,567 square feet and is divided into four sections:
4,493 Sq Ft of air conditioned seating
2,259 Sq Ft of unconditioned seating
1,144-Sq-Ft Pit Room
671 Sq Ft of uncovered deck
The building footprint is asymmetrical, owing in part to efforts made to avoid cutting down heritage oaks in the park.
It is to be situated on the north end of the park by Travis Street, with its length spanning almost the full length of that end of the block. There is pedestrian access from Travis, however, the main entrance faces south into the park.
View of the roof plan and restaurant footprint in the Frost Bank park. Courtesy: Michael G. Imber, Architects.
Katherine Fontenot, Weston Urban’s construction director, is overseeing the project. From ground breaking to finish, the project is estimated to take 13 months.
Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.