Icehouses are buildings used to store ice throughout the year, commonly used prior to the invention of the refrigerator. In Texas, former icehouses are a cultural tradition. Ice merchants diversified to sell groceries and cold beer, serving as early convenience stores and local gathering places. Today many Texas icehouses have converted into open-air bars. In the region of Central Texas and the Texas Hill Country in particular, the word “icehouse” has become a colloquialism for an establishment that derives the majority of its income from the sale of cold beer, especially such locally produced labels as Shiner Bock, Pearl, and Lone Star.”
That’s the generic history of Texas Icehouses. It’s somewhat fitting that The Pearl is in a building that was formerly a gas station, turned bar, turned us!
We are a community centered, fresh-focused restaurant and Texas-style pub, for our purpose, called an “icehouse”. In keeping with that old icehouse tradition, we carry a wide selection of draft beer. And because we are equally passionate about interesting, approachable wines, we’ve brought them into the fold as well! Our vibe and atmosphere are casual and comfortable. We embrace family, community, great libations, and creative, non-pretentious food. We like things laid back!
For my family personally, The Concho Pearl is about our roots and history in west Texas. My father came from a ranching family out near Big Lake and went to school here in San Angelo. His grandmother owned a little café in Paint Rock, and my mother was born and raised in Winters.
I myself was born in San Angelo and raised in restaurants. My father has spent over 30 years with food service companies all over Texas and the US. Over the years we have also owned and operated our own catering and restaurant locations. Several years ago we decided to dig in and get focused on our own private enterprises, and decided to do that here, where my family is from.
The Concho Pearl Icehouse is so called not only because the pearls are special and unique to the Concho Valley, but also because of my grandmother. She wore a ring all of her adult life whose center gem was a saltwater pearl. Over time that pearl began to wear away, and when she decided to replace it, it was with a beautiful pink-purple Concho Pearl.
As a young girl, I loved that ring. When she passed away, the ring came to my family and continued to be a favorite of mine that was a frequent reminder of the sweet, fun-loving lady that I was fortunate enough to love and be loved by.
Many things about my family’s past live on at The Pearl. You’ll find that the bar, tables, and wood accents in the building all look weathered. It is because they are over 100 years old, and were all part of my grandmother’s girlhood home in Paint Rock. The old house was demolished, and we have repurposed all of the material here at The Pearl.
We believe that San Angelo is a great little town, that is warm, welcoming and has faith in its community. We believe in this city and couldn’t be more proud to be creating something that is unique, and in my opinion, a whole lot of fun!