Attendees of the SAISD 2018 State of the District leave the Pearl Stable after the event..
Attendees of the SAISD 2018 State of the District leave the Pearl Stable after the event. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

Draft horses were given the boot in favor of delivery trucks at the turn of the 20th century, and now groups hosting events at the iconic Pearl Stable are out as well.

This week, Pearl officials informed event planners that the Stable will be closed as a private venue at the end of July.

Pearl officials “will reimagine the next chapter of the Stable with the intention of reopening as a new concept in 2021,” a spokeswoman for Silver Ventures, the Pearl’s developer, said in an email.

Designed by architect Otto Kraemer and constructed in 1894 to house the brewery’s team of horses, the structure was restored and converted 14 years ago to an event venue. Since then, it has hosted countless luncheons, fundraisers, and special events for groups in San Antonio.

“If this was under normal times, this would be a hole no matter what because it was a very favorite venue, and everybody will definitely miss it,” said Janet Holliday, president and CEO of The CE Group, which provided staffing for all events at the Pearl Stable.

“It’s a historic treasure and I think that what I loved about it was just that they took care of the [building’s] history, but it was also such an innovative venue.”

Holliday said that all venues in San Antonio are struggling right now as public events have been canceled or banned to reduce contagion during the pandemic.

“This is a really daunting time being in the event business because people because gathering is not an easy thing,” Holliday said. “I’m praying for every venue in town. We hate that we can’t do live events, but we just want people to be safe.”

While the Stable will be missed, she said, other similar venues remain, such as the Witte Museum’s Mays Family Center and the Briscoe Western Art Museum.

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In addition, new event venues are on the horizon, including the San Antonio Botanical Gardens’ Betty Kelso Center and the Red Berry Estate, which is currently under construction.

Shari Biediger

Shari Biediger

Shari Biediger is the business beat reporter at the San Antonio Report.