Dozens watch as huge crane lifts truck up to 3rd floor of Hotel Emma

Refurbished Pearl beer delivery truck to be used as poolside bar

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – It definitely was not something you’d see every day.

A huge crane hoisted a delivery truck high into the sky over the Pearl Brewery Monday morning, then lowered it onto the third-floor deck of the Hotel Emma.

The spectacle was part of a plan for a new poolside bar at the historic hotel, and it involved a piece of its history.

“This is an original vehicle, Pearl Brewery delivery truck, that has been retrofitted as a food truck,” said Bill Petrella, CEO & General Manager of the Hotel Emma.

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Petrella said the 1967 box-style truck once was used to transport Pearl beer from the brewery that had occupied the space where the hotel now stands.

Now the plan is for it to be used to serve beer and more.

The truck underwent months of renovations, which involved gutting the vehicle and fitting it will coolers and cooking equipment.

“We have a whole design team and as we were brainstorming, this thought came up and we're, like, 'Yes, that's super cool,’” Petrella said.

Many people seemed to agree.

A crowd gathered to take pictures and watch as the truck was lifted up to the Hotel Emma's third floor pool area. (KSAT 12 News)

A crowd of several dozen people gathered around the area to take in the unusual sight.

“It’s pretty neat,” said Carl Bradtmiller, who brought his two children out. “They’re pretty excited. (My son) is in the construction equipment phase of his life, so he likes anything with cranes.”

While watching all of the big equipment work kept his toddler, Ike, fascinated, his daughter, Aletta, worried about the possibility of failure.

“What if the ropes on the crane break?” she asked him.

Fortunately, there were only a few minor hiccups to the operation.

After some minor delays, a crane began to lift the retrofitted 1967 truck high above the Pearl Brewery. (KSAT 12 News)

Construction crews had to make some last-minute adjustments, fashioning a new lift system with some beams and a blow torch after the original lift beams failed to get the job done.

Finally, with everything in place, the converted truck began to rise up from the back of a flatbed big rig.

“It’s lifting up!,” said Ike Bradtmiller, excitedly.

The sight of a truck being lifted overhead seemed to give everyone in the crowd a bit of a lift to their day.

About the Authors:

Katrina Webber joined KSAT 12 in December 2009. She reports for Good Morning San Antonio. Katrina was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas. It's not unusual to find her singing karaoke or leading a song with her church choir when she's not on-air.

Tim has been a photojournalist and video editor at KSAT since 1998. He came to San Antonio from Lubbock, where he worked in TV and earned his bachelor's degree in Electronic Media and Communication from Texas Tech University. Tim has won a handful of awards and has earned a master's in Strategic Communication and Innovation from Tech as well.