The old Pearl Brewery administrative building still stands as a place for gathering and business, however, 115 years later is home to one of the city’s culinary destinations, Cured. Founder and CEO of Taylor West Advertising, Bill West, sat down with Owner and Chef Steven McHugh to discuss the name, the meat, and the logistics:
Bill West: “Steven, thanks again…So, New Orleans? Thats where you got your start?”
Steven McHugh: I grew up in Wisconsin, I left there when I was 19 and I think I’ve lived there more than I’ve lived anywhere in my life- 15 years in New Orleans, 19 years in Wisconsin, and six years in San Antonio. It’s a tiny little farming community just across the state line, about say an hour and a half from Chicago and, little known fact, is the home of Kikkoman Soy Sauce.
BW: “Did you work on the farm?”
SM: Oh yeah, we had an old dairy farm. Both my parents were working professionals, dad was a school teacher and my mom was a physician, but because I had six brothers I think it was a way for them to keep the seven of us out of trouble. So it was definitely a working farm, we had chickens, and pigs, and cows, and we had to take care of them.
BW: “Tell us about the name ‘Cured’ ”
SM: “It’s fun, you know, it’s our little secret sometimes. Obviously we cure a lot of meats, which we love to do, and it gives us an outlet. It’s also our little joke to ourselves, I’m a cancer survivor and we try not to take ourselves too seriously. We try to keep it casual, light, and laid back because we don’t want to take life too seriously. When you get a cancer diagnosis it kind of makes you rethink a lot of things, so how we designed and developed a restaurant is really, ‘let’s not take ourselves too serious and let’s create a place where everybody feels good.’ ”
BW: “What do you look forward to the most coming to work everyday?”
SM: “ First off, I’m lucky to come to a building that’s 115 years old, so I feel lucky to walk in here everyday and work in here. It’s amazing. I love coming in and seeing the staff. My wife works with me everyday, which I love. She’s an incredible just like everybody else, she works just as hard as everybody else, and I love the fact that we do all this together.”
As Cured continues to attract tourists and San Antonio residents to The Pearl Brewery, along with former San Antonio Spurs player Boris Diaw, the restaurant emulates veteran restauranteur Danny Myer’s quote, “treat celebrities like locals, and locals like celebrities.”
Cured also gives back to the San Antonio community by supporting the local food bank, along with their annual Cured for a Cure Dinner, presented by Mission Restaurant Supply. On September 11th, Cured will host a dinner benefitting The Lukemia and Lymphoma Society that includes a five course dinner with wine parings and a reception with live music. For more information or to purchase a ticket, visit http://events.lls.org/pages/sctx/CURED2016.
Stay updated with Taylor West as we continue to introduce and share the stories of the businesses at The Historic Pearl.
Images courtesy of Cured and Simone Ink.