- *One of the original brewmasters for PEARL BEER built this building by hand in 1890.
- *Due to the 1921 flood this building took on its famous slant that has entertained the people of San Antonio and its thousands of tourists year after year.
- *The land and property originally belonged to THE ALAMO! Now they want to turn it into a parking lot...
- *After prohibition ended, this location and building was one of the stops the beer trucks made, if not THE first stop after prohibition ended.
My great great grandfather built this building in 1890...Fritz Boehler. He was one of the original brewmasters for PEARL BEER. He built this building as well as the little house behind the large building where his wife, Kate Boehler and daughter, Minnie Boehler and himself lived. The building was a general store on one side, and a bar on the other side. Upstairs were living quarters for people passing in and out of town. The large building was made of long leaf pine, it has now petrified and is strong as steel. There was a flood in 1921. The waters reached to the ceilings of the first floor. Many of the neighbors took cover in this building at the time of the flood. After the water receded the building took on its famous lean. The best architecture engineers in San Antonio have tested the building many times and it passes with flying colors each and every time…this building is not going to fall, whatsoever!!!! The building has so much history here in San Antonio, and is a staple! It is sad to see this property turn into a parking lot because the the first and original owner of this land and property was THE ALAMO!!! This is a historical landmark and does not deserve to be a lousy parking lot for The Pearl and Silver Ventures. This building is not dangerous or the city would not have passed it to open its doors…year after year for the past 125 years.
-Courtney King (Great-great granddaughter)
For the past 120 years, the Alamo City has been home to Fritz Boehler's Liberty Saloon (the original name given to the business in1891), Liberty Schooner Saloon, Boehler’s Beer Garden and Boehler's Garden, a local landmark with a storied past and the distinction of being suggested as the longest continually-operating bar in the state. The building is full of history and family pictures showing its history since the 1880's.
In 1891, the original Boehler’s was opened by Fritz Boheler, a German immigrant and former brewmaster of the nearby Pearl Brewery in San Antonio. The original structure was upright and multi-purposed, serving as part-bar/saloon, homestead, part-General Store, part-boarding house. Over the years, Boehler’s transitioned to Boehler’s & Sons, Boehler’s Beer Garden (operated by Fritz’s son-in-law, Kenneth Kline), Boehler's Garden run by Aubrey Kline (Kenneth's brother) when he retired as Public Relations Director of the Pearl Brewery, the Liberty Bar (managed by Drew Allen and Dwight Hobart in 1984) who chose to rekindle the original name initiated in previous years by Fritz, a namesake harkening back to Fritz’s time at the Liberty Brewery when he first immigrated to New York in the 1800s.
Since its earliest days, Boehler’s has held court in San Antonio with its eclectic, yet inviting decor, quality eats and drinks, and since 1921 its distinctive “slant.” When the Great Flood of 1921 ravaged the city and most of the structures on E Josephine Street, Boehler’s stood firmly, if a bit askew. As a nod to its resiliency and plucky neighborhood character, the family opted to keep newly bowed building, and the “Leaning Tower” of San Antonio was born.
Another little-known fact.... Boehler’s withstood not only the Great Flood, but Prohibition as well. After Congress outlawed the sale or shipment of alcohol in the United States in 1917, most bars across the country went bottom-up. Boehler’s kept their doors open and their patrons happy, turning Boehler’s Beer Garden into simply Boehler’s Garden, serving sandwiches, soft drinks and near beer.. At the stroke of Prohibition’s end in 1933, however, Boehler’s was the first stop for beer delivery in San Antonio and the brew has been pouring ever since.
Though Boehler’s has been known by several names and run by a slew of Fritz’s family and their friends, the restaurant has long been celebrated for its slanted frame and “come-one-come-all” atmosphere in its legacy of quality, comfort and a special brand of Alamo City charm has endured.