Witness the transformation of Prince Solms Inn, a downtown New Braunfels landmark

Prince Solms Inn, the longest continually operating inn in Texas, has big plans for expansion, and the end result could be available to residents by the end of summer.

According to Dan Reinhard, general manager of the under-construction Muck & Fuss Craft Beer and Burger Bar that is connected to Prince Solms Inn by an up-and-coming outdoor courtyard, said he has been involved in planning efforts for the property’s “eat, drink and stay” concept with owner Terry Muckenfuss.

Muckenfuss, who bought the property at 295 E. San Antonio St., New Braunfels, in February 2017, also owns some Golden Corral locations in the area.

Muck & Fuss will feature three large booths to accommodate larger parties as well as a 30-tap system featuring a variety of draft beers and craft cocktails. The restaurant also plans to serve two signature frozen drinks, Reinhard said, but he added that menu details are still being worked out.

Muck & Fuss hired North Carolinian chef Kris Fuller to help concoct “eight or so” signature burgers that will be made from fresh meat that is ground daily.

“There are going to be very unique burgers you won’t find anywhere,” Reinhard said.

According to Reinhard, the establishment will also feature sandwiches, salads and tacos.

Large windows will allow for natural light to fill the 3,000-plus square-foot space during the day, and downtown New Braunfels nightlife will be visible after the sun sets.

Reclaimed wood adorns the facility’s back wall and under-bar, and drinks can be ordered from the spacious bar area that conjoins the indoor space to the outdoor courtyard on the other side. The courtyard will also feature waitress-served tables, decorative planter boxes and a stage area for local talent to perform. Guests will also have the option of reserving patio space for private parties.

Muck & Fuss is being constructed in the location of a demolished feed store-turned-bed-and-breakfast that was once part of Prince Solms Inn.

The basement bar

On the other side of the bricked courtyard outside of Muck & Fuss Craft Beer and Burger Bar lies a staircase leading to Prince Solms Inn’s 2,500-square-foot basement.

Sidecar, a craft cocktail-focused jazz lounge, will be located in the basement. Guests who come in through a second entrance inside the Inn will be greeted by a crystal chandelier as they head downstairs into a 1920s-style parlor.

While still under construction, the completed project will feature rivet-backed bench seating along some of the walls. Shadow boxes containing antique smoking pipes will be used as hanging decor.

A divider will separate two pocket living rooms that will mirror each other with sofas, chairs and marble coffee tables.

Sidecar General Manager Andy Hack, who has a background working in jazz bars, said Sidecar will not be the type of place that is “happy hour-driven” but instead will accept reservations and provide an ideal destination for celebrating special occasions like anniversaries.

Sidecar will feature one TV in a designated back area that will satisfy customers when, for example, the San Antonio Spurs are in the NBA playoffs but not take away from the bar’s relaxed setting.

Brett Klein, a musician who met his wife while playing a piano gig in the basement—then Wolfgang’s Wine Bar & Jazz Club—is expected to frequent the Sidecar stage.

“We want everybody in here to have a really good experience,” Hack said.

Hack said one way Sidecar will ensure an enjoyable time for guests is by limiting the number of people who can come in, which will prevent overcrowding.

“We want people to enjoy the space we have here,” Hack said. “We will have cocktail servers at the tables so guests can enjoy the music and ambience.”

On the other side of the bar, the Texas-inspired house Old-Fashioned will be a signature craft cocktail offered at Sidecar. It is made with Balcones Rye whiskey from Waco, chicory pecan bitters and a mesquite syrup made from mesquite pod-beans.

“I like to nerd out on the culinary side of drinks,” Hack said, also stating the Sidecar staff will incorporate fun techniques to make fresh ingredients. “If we want strawberries in our drinks, we’re going to go buy strawberries and make syrup out of them rather than buying sugar-filled syrups.”

Even the ice will set the establishment apart, Hack said, because it will come from a supplier in San Antonio that makes a crystal-clear, ice sculpture-grade product that is broken down into smaller pieces from a 300-pound ice block.

The bar at Sidecar will serve a variety of draft and packaged beer options, as well as offer a wine-by-the-bottle selection. It will stock high-end Napa Valley wines on tap, which promotes higher quality, Hack said.

“Wine in a keg helps preserve quality, so you’re not paying for sub-par wine because it’s not wine in a bottle that was opened the day before,” he said.

Additional growth

Property improvements for Prince Solms Inn do not stop at the restaurant and bar. An upgraded coffee bar and conference room with full audio-visual capabilities are in the works, making the location a prime spot for small company retreats, Reinhard said.

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