Austrian immigrant George Dullnig and his two brothers, Christian and John, opened their wholesale and retail grocery business in 1864 on Commerce and Alamo Streets. As their business prospered, George hired Austin architect James Murphy to design a grand mercantile store. The resulting three-story building became a distinct, somewhat imposing landmark among the simple one-story structures in the neighborhood.
For the next 20 years, the area enjoyed a rich architectural explosion. Alamo Plaza was developed and landscaped and several more buildings were built on and around River Street. Today only the Menger Hotel, Crockett Block and the Riverwalk Vista remain as a tribute to this important era in San Antonio history. By 1887, George Dullnig's business was described as "the oldest run under one firm name in San Antonio" and one of the largest in the Southwest, employing 30 people with seven delivery wagons trading as far as western Texas.
In 1892, George Dullnig founded the Fifth National Bank on the first floor of the building, where it operated until 1896. He was also a stockholder in the Opera House and the San Antonio and Arkansas Pass Railroad and a board member of the San Antonio and Gulf Railroad. Dullnig became a pioneer in the Texas oil industry when in 1886 he struck oil just six miles south of San Antonio. George Dullnig died on December 19, 1908, and the store continued to operate under a variety of names until 1920 when it was sold to J. M. Frost who operated the business under the name "The Fair" until 1930.
Over the years the building housed a number of businesses and was threatened with demolition in 1978. But the property persevered, and in 2001 the Riverwalk Vista Inn opened on the second and third floors of the renovated building.