Irish pub The Cottage opening in old Picante Grill space on San Antonio’s Broadway corridor

Co-owner Gina Bentley, a native of Ireland, told the Current that the pub will emulate the homey feel of drinking spots back home

click to enlarge Irish pub The Cottage is set to open next month on the Broadway corridor north of downtown. - Courtesy Photo / The Cottage
Courtesy Photo / The Cottage
Irish pub The Cottage is set to open next month on the Broadway corridor north of downtown.
Transplants Phil and Gina Bentley will bring Ireland to the Alamo City next month with the opening of The Cottage, a cozy Irish pub near the Witte Museum.

The Bentleys, who also operate Waxy O’Connors on the River Walk, have gutted the defunct space at 3810 Broadway — former home of enchilada haven Picante Grill — and injected it with Emerald Isle charm.

Gina Bentley told the Current that The Cottage will channel the vibe of drinking spots in her native Ireland, replete with a showpiece bar visible from any point in the building, cozy gathering spaces and a menu of hearty, rib-sticking eats.

“In an Irish pub, it's all about the bar, so we’ve got a huge wooden bar, floor to ceiling. It basically the spans the entire wall. So, that's kind of the focal point,” she said. “We did a lot of work to [the building]. But it just had those good bones, it had a lot of character. And I think what we were going for was this old-school Irish pub that had been around for decades — that kind of feel. And I think we wanted to embrace that it just felt lived in.”

The 3,500-square-foot space will offer multiple vignettes, including an area with high-backed booths, a “living room” with a fireplace and small stage, a bright and airy sun room and a walled-in courtyard patio. Months into opening, the couple will transform an onsite storage space into a games room with pool, darts and additional gathering space.
“We wanted to give it that cozy kind of feel, like you’re going into someone's house. That welcoming feel,” Gina Bentley said of the space. “For me, growing up in Ireland, that was very important. The pubs were where everyone would gather as a community and get together, and it was just that kind of safe, home-away-from-home kind of feel.”

The kitchen will serve Irish comfort food including bangers and mash, corned beef and cabbage, beef stew and boxtys, or potato pancakes. The bar will offer an extensive selection of Irish whiskey, imported beers and select craft cocktails.

Longtime bartenders from the couple’s booming River Walk drinkery Waxy’s will take up management positions at the new spot. Both Phil and Gina Bentley plan to be on hand for The Cottage’s day-to-day operations.

The couple's tentative plan is to open the first week of August, depending on the outcome of a few remaining kitchen inspections. Following a grand opening, The Cottage will open daily at 11 a.m., serving lunch and dinner. The owners haven't yet decided what time the pub will close.

click to enlarge The Cottage took over the spot previously occupied by Mexican restaurant Picante Grill. - Courtesy Photo / The Cottage
Courtesy Photo / The Cottage
The Cottage took over the spot previously occupied by Mexican restaurant Picante Grill.
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Nina Rangel

Nina Rangel uses nearly 20 years of experience in the foodservice industry to tell the stories of movers and shakers in the food scene in San Antonio. As the Food + Nightlife Editor for the San Antonio Current, she showcases her passion for the Alamo City’s culinary community by promoting local flavors, uncovering...

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