Young Professionals basking in the glow of Meatopia at Pearl. Photo courtesy Kevin McCullough.
Young Professionals basking in the glow of Meatopia at Pearl. Photo courtesy Kevin McCullough.
Jaime Solis

Over the past year we have seen some of this city’s small business owners, artist, chefs, and public officials do remarkable things to put San Antonio on the map. We asked our readers to share what they thought were some of the best things to come out of 2013.  Below are the results of our survey.  

Best New Coffee Shop: Local Coffee

303 Pearl Pkwy – www.localcoffeesa.com

Like craft beers and craft cocktails, locals are eschewing mass production and instead demanding a more authentic and carefully made option for their cup of joe.  Local Coffee continues to tap into this feeling in 2013 and Rivard Report readers agree.  The establishment grew to three locations this year.

Best New Restaurant 2013: Minnie’s Tavern and Rye House

328 E. Josephine Street

In 2013 San Antonio’s restaurant culture came into it’s own, with chefs experimenting with food and drink to provide customers with an authentic food experience.  No one seems to know where the future direction of the local gastronomic scene better than Andrew Weissman.  Rivard Report readers chose Minnie’s Tavern and Rye House, his newest addition to an already impressive portfolio of great restaurants, as the best new restaurant of 2013

Best New Outdoors Space: Mission Reach

www.sanantonioriver.org

After decades of neglect, the southern portion of the San Antonio river has experienced a renaissance.  Bexar County, the City of San Antonio, San Antonio River Foundation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and private citizens invested heavily via funding ($245.7 million total) and political capital to transform the eight-mile stretch of the river south of downtown connecting Southtown to the Spanish Missions. It’s hard to find a county or city project that has done more to increase the quality of life for locals. The Mission Reach grand opening was this October, but river improvement projects continue along the river.

Read More: In Speech and Play, a City Reclaims the San Antonio River’s Mission Reach

Dozens of kayakers passed by the opening ceremony festivities on the Mission Reach. Pictured: San Antonio Nature Hounds, a local recreational meet-up for dogs and their pet humans, pass by Padre Park during the opening ceremony of the Mission Reach. Photo by Iris Dimmick.
Dozens of kayakers passed by the opening ceremony festivities on the Mission Reach. Pictured: San Antonio Nature Hounds, a local recreational meet-up for dogs and their humans, pass by Padre Park during the ceremony. Photo by Iris Dimmick. Credit: Iris Dimmick / San Antonio Report

Best New Residential Development: Can Plant at The Pearl

503 Avenue A – www.thecanplant.com

Although the Can Plant was built in 2012, our readers chose this development as the best “new” residential development – and we can’t really blame them. Can Plant at The Pearl has seemed to set off a chain reaction of residential and retail development around the southern portion of Broadway Street.  The Can Plant along with others like 1221 Broadway 1221, 1800 Broadway and The Mosaic are setting the stage for rapid housing growth between Alamo Heights and downtown.

Read More: Where We Live: Two Perspectives from the Pearl

Best New Historical Restoration: Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

100 Auditorium Circle – www.tobincenter.org

Formerly known as the Municipal Auditorium, the Tobin Center of the Performing Arts aims to be the major game changer that downtown has longed for.  The facade, built in the 1920s will be kept in tact while the rest of the building is constructed with a very modern design.  This new development – which opens in fall 2014 – may serve as a template for future architectural design in the city’s urban core, blending modern and progressive architecture with the historical nature of downtown.

Read More: Inside and Outside, Tobin Center Aims to Bring Performing Arts to the Whole City

Tobin Center for the Performing Arts
An artistic rendering of The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, set to open in Fall 2014. Courtesy rendering.

Best New Art Gallery: Cinnabar

1420 S. Alamo Street, #147 – www.cinnabarart.com (NSFW)

In 2013 The Blue Star Arts Complex drifted toward a more retail and restaurant oriented development but Cinnabar seemed to defy this trend.  Our readers chose this as the Best New Art Gallery of 2013.  Cinnabar is delivering amazing art to the Alamo City and promises to keep pushing the envelope in 2014.

Read More: The Gift of Art: Ditching Black Friday for Second Saturday

Best New Annual Event: Meatopia

Young Professionals basking in the glow of Meatopia at Pearl. Photo courtesy Kevin McCullough.
Young Professionals basking in the glow of Meatopia at Pearl. Photo courtesy Kevin McCullough.

Nov 2013 at The Pearl – www.meatopia.org

Meatopia, an event dedicated to all things meat, held its first ever event outside of London and New York in San Antonio this past November.  Chefs from all over the country came to here to show off their cooking capabilities. Meatopia is a glowing example of San Antonio beginning to flex its culinary muscle for the world to see.

Read More: Meatopia: San Antonio Worships A Weekend of Meat

Best New Farmers Market – The Pearl’s Farmers Market

Every Saturday at ThePearl Brewery – www.atpearl.com

Although it did not start in 2013, our readers decided that The Pearls Farmers Market is the best new farmers market in San Antonio – in many ways they are right.  The event continues to gain popularity and proves once again that The Pearl is becoming one of the main cultural centers of San Antonio.

Best New Small Business – The Tiny Finch

302 Pearl Parkway Ste. 116 –  www.thetinyfinch.com

The Tiny Finch is a unique, upscale boutique that opened for business in September of 2013.  The boutique offers a wide array of offerings, from postcards to pillows and everything in between.  The Tiny Finch is great example of the urban core’s growing sophistication.

Jaime Solis is the Director of Marketing and Development for the Rivard Report. You can follow him on Twitter at @_JaimeSolis and contact him at jaime@rivardreport.com.

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Jaime Solis

Jaime Solis is the director of development and advertising sales for the Rivard Report. You can contact him at jaime@rivardreport.com.