Restaurateur Chris Hill, responsible for the award-winning Esquire Tavern and Downstairs at the Esquire Tavern, announced both a new restaurant and a new bar coming to downtown San Antonio in early 2021. The bar concept, Hugman’s Oasis and the restaurant, House of Má, will be located in the Historic Witte Building on East Commerce Street.
Hugman’s Oasis is a tiki bar concept, designed by Giles Design Bureau. Jill Giles and Project Lead Mark Anders conceptualized and designed Hugman’s Oasis and the street level space for House of Má. To assist with the design of Hugman’s Oasis, Giles Design Bureau brought in Bamboo Ben, a well-known tiki bar expert whose work has been featured in numerous bars throughout the country including Frankie’s tiki Room in Las Vegas and Luau in Beverly Hills.
The bar menu will feature drinks like the Bermuda Triangle, a tropical rum-based drink, a Piñagroni, a pineapple take on a traditional negroni, and more. under the supervision of Beverage Director and Boulevardier Group Owner Jeret Peña. Hugman’s Oasis, named for the visionary architect responsible for the creation of the San Antonio RiverWalk, Robert H. H. Hugman, will occupy the river level of the Witte Building.
“This tiki concept at Hugman’s is something we’re really looking forward to doing here,” says Beverage Director Jeret Pena. “We’re pairing craft cocktails with a relaxed atmosphere and it’s something that feels intrinsically ‘San Antonio.’”
House of Má is a concept by Louis Singh and Eric Treviño, the same team behind the popular Singh’s Vietnamese restaurant in San Antonio. Guests will be able to order items from the menu like Hủ Tiếu (Cambodian Noodle Soup), Phở Gà (Chicken Pho) and more from House of Má, while dishes like Candied-Jalapeño Rangoons, Seasonal Yakitori Skewers and more will be featured on the bar menu at Hugman’s Oasis.
“House of Má is going to focus on Vietnamese homestyle cooking,” adds Chef Louis Singh. “This is the type of food that has been passed down from Vietnamese mothers and grandmothers for generations.”
Jeret Peña will also lead the bar program at House of Má, where guests can order cocktails with names like Old Siam, Soi Cowboy and more. House of Má will occupy the first floor of the building, with private dining available on the second floor. Hugman’s Oasis will be located on the river level directly on the RiverWalk.
“We are particularly excited to add some depth and interest to not only the Riverwalk, but to the overall food and drink scene in San Antonio,” says restaurateur Chris Hill. “We wanted to create an environment on the RiverWalk that can be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.”
Additional transformations were made to the Witte Building to accommodate guests, including a new elevator and set of stairs leading up from the River Walk to the street level. The new elevator tower was designed by Architect Tobin Smith. Andrew Douglas of Douglas Architects served as the lead architect on the project and Lewis Fisher of Fisher Heck Architects served as historical architect for the project.