New San Antonio restaurant Tryst to serve elevated Southern cuisine near the Pearl

Owned by veteran restaurateurs, the new spot is expected to open next month in the former Ay Caramba Taco Cantina space.

click to enlarge Tryst Kitchen + Cocktails partner Joshua Green stands in the foyer of his forthcoming restaurant. - Sanford Nowlin
Sanford Nowlin
Tryst Kitchen + Cocktails partner Joshua Green stands in the foyer of his forthcoming restaurant.
A group of veteran San Antonio restaurateurs are preparing to launch an elevated Southern cuisine concept near the Pearl called Tryst Kitchen + Cocktails.

Helmed by Joshua Green, previously known for The South Chicken & Waffles mini-chain, and Bruce Chambliss, owner of the original Bayseas Seafood, along with other partners, Tryst is expected to open in July, pending approval of its liquor license. The restaurant and bar will focus on a creative mix of Creole, Cajun and soul food specialties along with cocktails.

"We want people to see this as a place where they can come in and grab a nice drink, but our bread and butter is going to be the food," Green said. "It's going to be Southern food with a sophisticated twist. We're going to do things like traditional soul food dishes, but we're going to use ingredients like Wagyu beef and fresh seafood. We're also going to take a creative culinary approach to the sides."

Green, a former teacher and coach for Judson ISD, grew The South Chicken & Waffles concept into three stores but was forced to close it down due to economic pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic. He, Chambliss and other partners also landed the city's first Bojangles franchise as part of North Carolina-based chicken chain's Texas expansion and debuted their first location last summer.

Tryst, located at 1915 Broadway, Suite 111, is situated below the The Mosaic on Broadway apartments.

Green said dining spot's location on the fast-developing corridor will allow it to grab lunch business from nearby office complexes while drawing dinner and brunch crowds accustomed to heading the Pearl area for dining and entertainment.

In keeping with its creative approach, Tryst will feature a mix of music, DJs and other entertainment to liven things up, according to Green. A wall-spanning mural by San Antonio artist Colton Valentine and an impressive wood-framed bar add flair to the space.

Tryst's location previously hosted the short-lived Ay Caramba Taco Cantina, which closed in March. Before that it was occupied by Señor Fish Seafood Bar, which ran aground in mid-2023, and Tacos N Tequila, which shut down in 2017 after a three-year run.

Green said he's undaunted by the turnover of previous restaurants at the location, which he said he's been eyeing for some time.

"This place has it," he said. "We're on a great corner, a busy corner. We're in an up-and-coming area, and we're next to a destination, the Pearl, that attracts local people and people from out of town. We've got parking. We've got a really nice bar. All of the ingredients are there, so really what it comes down to is us putting together the right staff and executing the food and the drinks."

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.

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