The basement at 229 E. Houston St. did not stay quiet for long.
The old Last Word location will become Jet-Setter, a full bar that will offer cocktails from across the globe that’s being opened by Benjamin Krick, former bar manager at Juniper Tar, and Lucas Bradbury of Bok Choy and Earth Burger.
Krick is working toward an April 1 opening.
Hours will be 4 p.m.-2 a.m. daily; happy hour 4-7 p.m. daily.
Jet-Setter will offer an array of cocktails from all over the world that will be served with authentic ingredients and glassware from the countries of origin.
The space, which was once had a dark, speakeasy ambience with portraits of famed literary authors, has been revitalized through color schemes of blue, and cognac and vintage travel posters that now line the walls.
Before Juniper Tar closed its doors last year, Krick purchased a license from the Miracle Pop-Up Bar franchise, a concept founded in 2014 in the East Village neighborhood of New York. With the license, participating bars get a crash course in running a Christmas-themed bar that includes recipes for 12 cocktails, printed menus featuring those cocktails’ recipes, playlists, and social media-ready professional drink photos for promo purposes. Only about 80 bars around the world have the opportunity to host the Miracle Pop-Up bar and Krick was elated to bring the concept to San Antonio over the holidays. But he never found a place to put the pop up. At one point, he was eyeing historic home at 1506 E. Houston St., but couldn’t get the zoning converted on time.
Krick also looked at the former Last Word spot next to Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and Seafood, which had been taken over by the restaurant’s nonprofit, Houston Street Charities. He asked if the nonprofit could rent the space for the pop-up. Unfortunately for him, the charity was gearing up for the San Antonio Cocktail Conference, and told him the spot was actually for lease. The conversation turned into a full-fledged opportunity to create something more permanent.
“I kind of just fell into entrepreneurship,” Krick said.
Right after the cocktail conference ended in late January, Krick moved in and immediately started construction.
Krick emphasized he wanted Jet-Setter to raise the bar on bar culture in San Antonio. He invested in staff education and training in regards to the cocktails of other cultures. With the help of his partner Bradbury, he will apply composting, recycling and zero waste policies, and hopes other establishments on Houston Street, and other bars, will follow suit.
The bar and tables are custom-made, and will have compartments for patrons to place phones, if they chose. Customers can get their shoes shined for free during happy hour.
Though Jet-Setter has been Krick’s primary focus so close to opening date, he’s also set to open Pastiche, a soigné cocktail lounge with an old-world European feel he plans to open later this spring in the house on East Houston Street, where the pop-up was supposed to go.