Members of the Black family, which operate Terry Black’s BBQ in Austin and Dallas, have purchased nearly a full city block on Broadway two blocks north of the Pearl with plans to build a mixed-use development on the site.
The family does not currently plan to build a barbecue joint on the 1.4-acre property, 2110 Broadway, though San Antonio is on a short list of cities where it hopes to one day build a restaurant, said Mark Black, who bought the property on June 30 with his twin brother Mike, sister Christina and parents Terry and Patty.
The property will likely be developed with some combination of multifamily, office space, a hotel and restaurant space, he said.
“It’s kind of up in the air,” Black said. “Still got a lot of research to do on exactly what’s feasible there.”
Asked whether the family could open a restaurant there, he said it “totally depends on what happens in the market.”
“It’s a pretty prime location, obviously, with the Pearl right there, and the proximity to the downtown business and the neighborhood of Alamo Heights,” he said. “Now, we love the people, we love the area of San Antonio as a whole for Terry Black’s, but I think that property lends itself to a much larger-scale development.”
A limited-liability company which the family formed to buy the property, named 4M Broadway, borrowed $5 million from Mississippi bank Bancorpsouth to finance the purchase, according to the deed record, but the sale price was higher than that, Black said. He declined to share the number.
His family is investing in real estate in other large cities across Texas and the U.S., he said. Next year, it plans to open a resort with a winery and a boutique hotel in Driftwood, southwest of Austin.
Along with San Antonio, the family is considering opening restaurants in Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City, he said.
Early next year, the family plans to open a restaurant in Lockhart, where his great-grandfather, Edgar Black, founded Black’s Barbecue in 1932. His uncle, Kent Black, now runs that restaurant after a business dispute split the family apart in 2013, driving Mark Black and his parents and siblings to open Terry Black’s BBQ in Austin the following year.
“That’s going to be quite the fireworks, whenever we get it open,” he said of the new restaurant in Lockhart. “I say that, and it kind of comes off negative, but really, competition drives business. That’s what makes us better, that’s what we like to do.”
“Yeah, he’s not going to be happy about it,” he said of his uncle, “but we couldn’t be more excited.”
Black said he didn’t see any possibility of reconciling with his uncle, pointing out that there have been several lawsuits between the two sides of the family.
It would be the second pair of barbecue restaurants in Lockhart owned by one family.
In 1999, a family dispute between the Schmidt family resulted in one side of the family opening Kreuz Market, while another side opened Smitty’s Market in the building in downtown Lockhart that housed the original Kreuz’s. The two sides have since buried the hatchet, and the family opened Schmidt Family Barbecue in 2013 in Bee Cave west Austin.
San Antonio has an “up-and-coming” barbecue scene, Black said. He praised Pinkerton’s Barbecue, which opened in Legacy Park across from the Frost Tower in February, and 2M Smokehouse on the East Side.
“I think the whole food scene in general in San Antonio is really cool,” he said. “It’s good to see new places while still having the old-school places. So I love it. I love the vibe down there.”
He and his brother were spending time at the Pearl when they noticed that the 2110 Broadway property was for sale, he said. Knowing that it would be in high demand, they quickly reached out to the seller and put it under contract.
“We were in a fortunate situation where we were able to jump on it,” he said. “And now we’re going to figure out exactly what we want to do. I couldn’t be more excited about it, I’ll say that.”
Richard Webner is a freelance journalist covering Austin and San Antonio, and a former San Antonio Express-News business reporter. Follow him at @RWebner on Twitter
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Richard: Did you know that this property was owned by Councilman Roberto Trevino?