When The Monterey, a unique eatery some say pioneered the culinary scene in Southtown, closed almost two years ago on its fifth anniversary, owner Chad Carey called it the most difficult decision of his life.
But he also promised that the Sun-Glo service station-turned-restaurant would rise again “as something beautiful.”
Bearing the new name The Monty + Ivy Hall, the former restaurant named for an iconic 1962 Mercury Monterey once parked out front, may soon open again as an event space available for rent, but without Carey’s involvement.
There would be four different spaces available at the site. The Monty is being billed on its website as “an adaptable, dynamic space perfect for anything from an intimate reception to a rowdy good time.” Ivy Hall is a larger, indoor space suitable for exhibits, performances, lectures, or workshops.
The outdoor patio is now called The Gardens. That space and a separate converted shipping container are suggested for receptions, lounge areas, and photo shoots.
Maximum total capacity for The Monty + Ivy Hall, located at 1127 S. St. Mary’s St., is 400. The starting price to host a facility-wide event is $3,000, but smaller sections of the property can be rented for $1,000.
“Orchestrate a show, host a shindig, or rendezvous in a secret garden while nestled in one of San Antonio’s most unique neighborhoods,” the website states. Local nonprofit organizations have been invited to submit proposals to use the venue at low or no cost for fundraising events.
Stacey Hill, owner of the space, declined to comment for this article as permitting details for the project are pending.
In The Monterey’s heyday, Chef Quealy Watson delivered food trends to San Antonio in a menu that changed constantly. Features were meant to be “delicious, inexpensive, and a hell of a lot of fun to eat,” including items like a barbecue ramen with eel, soft egg, furikake, and sunomono, as well as a robust cocktail menu.
The Monterey was a favorite among Southtowners and visitors alike. When it closed, the owners expressed their farewells in a message that offered other things to do in San Antonio – from visiting the Landa Library to cycling, kayaking, or going for a jog. “So if you’re ever in San Antonio then just know that there is a lot that you can do, but unfortunately visiting the Monterey is not one of them.”
After spearheading Hot Joy as a pop-up concept at the Monterey, Watson went on to work at the Asian-inspired eatery that Carey and his partners started in 2014. Opening that restaurant influenced Carey’s decision to close The Monterey and shift focus to the company’s other ventures –Barbaro on McCullough, the live music venue Paper Tiger, and the Tex-Mex spot Chisme on North St. Mary’s Street which opened late last year.