By Trisha Doucette
Boerne is well known as a charming Texas Hill Country town. It’s a destination for nature lovers with several local and state parks. The town is dotted with galleries for those with an appreciation for the arts, both local and international. Public spaces are beautifully maintained. And, of course, there’s the popular Hill Country Mile shopping district which offers something for everyone. But what is there to do when the shops close and the sun sets? With fine dining, craft breweries and cocktail bars, there’s plenty.
Dining. There are several restaurants marking Boerne’s landscape that offer casual bites from breakfast through dinner, but when it comes to fine dining, these restaurants are not to be missed.
Chef Mark Bohanan garnered inspiration from his mom’s Southern scratch cooking and created Peggy’s on the Green (www.peggysonthegreen.com) in Boerne’s historic Kendall Inn. With service and quality equaling his highly regarded restaurant in downtown San Antonio, guests are treated to casual but elevated menus for Sunday Brunch, lunch Tuesday through Saturday, and dinner beginning at 5:00pm through 9:00pm Tuesday to Thursday and 10:00pm on Friday and Saturday. An adjoining bar is open during all business hours and highlights hand-selected wines, specialty cocktails and a fabulous list of bourbon, whisky, scotch and rye, and even rare bottles for those in pursuit of Pappy.
A well-rounded dinner menu highlighting a variety of carefully crafted and scrumptious sauces, and a lunch menu featuring many of their signature items, makes dining at The Creek (thecreekrestaurant.com) a delight any time of day. Located in a quaint home with dining al fresco along Cibolo Creek, lunch and dinner are served daily, except Mondays, until 9:00pm.
Wood fire grilled steaks, handmade pastas and fresh-caught seafood with sommelier-paired wines from a hand-selected wine list make any lunch, dinner or Sunday Brunch at Cypress Grille (www.cypressgrille.com) a special occasion. Enjoy Sunday Brunch and lunch and dinner Tuesday to Saturday until 9:00 pm. Their expansive bar is open until 9:00pm as well.
Breweries. The Texas Hill Country is certainly enjoying a rise in the craft brewery scene and Boerne is home to a few.
Started by a group of friends and home brewers with a love for craft beer and a respect for historic Boerne — and named after Kendall County’s first settlement — Tusculum Brewing Co. (www.facebook.com/tusculumbrewingcompany) opened last fall in the landmark Bergmann Lumber Company along Boerne’s Hill Country Mile. Brewed on site, 12 specialty and seasonal beers rotate through the menu along with a variety of sandwiches, salads, nachos and charcuterie designed to complement the brews. Hours are Friday 3:00 to 10:00pm, Saturday 11:00am to 10:00pm and Sunday noon to 7:00pm. Expanded hours are on the horizon.
Owned and operated by Boerne locals, Cibolo Creek Brewing Company (www.cibolocreekbrewing.com) offers seasonal and year-round hand-crafted brews — around eight rotating at any given time — with names that pay homage to the area’s history, landscape, people, their historical building and location adjacent to Cibolo Creek. Of course, there’s a full food menu to choose from but the bar snacks — and oh, those Bier Buns — will have you hooked. They are open every day but Tuesday with lunch beginning at 11:00am, and dinner is served until 10:00pm on Friday and Saturday.
Silber Brewing Company (www.silberbrewing.com) is another newcomer to the craft brewery scene in Boerne. Featuring small-batch beers ranging from IPAs, stouts, sours and everything in-between, there’s always at least half a dozen choices, plus wine for those who prefer it. Silber is pet and kid friendly with food trucks and live music on weekends. Hours vary but they are open Friday and Saturday until 9:00pm.
With three gold and three silver medals from international competitions, it’s safe to say the crafted beer is a must-try at Dodging Duck Brewhaus (www.dodgingduck.com). A wide range at any given time provides something for everyone. It’s always fresh and always perfectly paired with local bratwursts, sauerkraut and other selections from the eclectic menu. Open Sunday to Thursday until 9:00pm, and 10:00pm on Friday and Saturday, plus weekday “Ducky Hour” specials.
Bars. Back in the day, there were only a few places around town but Boerne now welcomes several new faces to the late-night party scene.
Start with Texas-inspired cuisine at Bevy Restaurant and stay for after-dinner drinks at B Lounge at the new Bevy Hotel Boerne, a DoubleTree by Hilton (www.thebevyhotel.com). The restaurant is open from 6:00am to 10:00pm daily, and B Lounge offers craft beers, cocktails and an extensive wine list from 2:00 to 11:00pm, Monday through Friday and from noon on Saturday and Sunday. Included in the lounge area is a 12-top table that can be reserved for large parties, along with a covered patio, and guests can enjoy full-menu service or sharable plates in all areas.
At 153 S. Main, owners Guy and Joi Sanders have remodeled the original Richter Garage — named after Arno Richter who established the first “modern” garage in Boerne in 1920 — and created a string of shops, along with Richter Cork & Keg, Richter Tavern, Richter Bakhaus and a special Members’ only club called Oben (www.153mainboerne.com). At Cork & Keg, beer and wine, along with a lunch and charcuterie menu are perfect for a casual gathering until 8:00pm Monday through Thursday, 9:00pm Friday and Saturday and 5:00pm on Sundays. Bakhaus Bakery features fresh-baked breads and pastries to-go and services the other restaurants in the building. Walk upstairs to Richter Tavern and find a 1869 bar, original to Boerne, along with a pizza oven, a Chef’s Table by reservation and an eclectic new-American menu. The bar and restaurant, with open-air patios, serve until midnight on weekends. A third floor welcomes 100 lucky member-only patrons who renew their memberships annually. Called Oben, meaning ‘elevated’ in German, the private club has its own patio and back staircase, open wine locker and Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired décor.
With signature and classic cocktails, along with beer and wine, and light bites catered from Little Gretel next door, Salvador Dobbs (www.salvadordobbs.com) provides a party atmosphere that includes games like pool, shuffleboard, darts and dancing and a spacious outdoor patio with swings. It’s open 3:00pm to midnight (except Tuesdays) with live music every Friday and Saturday, karaoke on Thursdays and other special events.
A longtime favorite for afternoon gatherings around their signature enomatic wine dispensers that make sampling a variety of wines a fun and educational experience, Boerne Wine Company (www.boernewinecompany.com) has a walk-in humidor, a select wine room, tapas and pizzas and a beautiful courtyard with a fireplace for cozy nights. Open from 11:00am to 8:00pm, Monday through Saturday, it’s the perfect place to start your date night.