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Current_CityGuide.indd 1 CURRENT • San Antonio City Guide


2/12/18 10:07 AM • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 3

SoUtHtOwN TrEaSuRe

San Antonio Current Publisher: Michael Wagner


Senior Editors: Bryan Rindfuss, Jessica Elizarraras Art Director: Carlos Aguilar Food & Nightlife Editor: Jessica Elizarraras News Editor: Alex Zielinski News Reporter: Lyanne Guarecuco Staff Writer: Chris Conde Contributors: Alexis Alvarez, Marco Aquino, Ron Bechtol, James Courtney, Lance Higdon, Josh Huskin, JJ Lopez, Hannah Lorence, Julián P. Ledezma, Michelle Lorentzen, Jeremy Martin, Kiko Martinez, Kody Melton, Kelly Merka Nelson, Dan Payton, Erin Winch Editorial Interns: Maria Cristina Gardner Lara, Lori Salazar, Victoria Wilson

DoMeStIcS CrAfT WiNe ChAmPaGnE lOcAl sPiRiTs MiNi BoTtLeS sPeCiAl oRdErS


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Marketing and Events

Marketing and Events Director: Cassandra Yardeni Events Manager: Chelsea Bourque Marketing and Events Interns: Julia Hogan, Eileen McMahon

Creative Services

Creative Services Manager: Tina Corbeil Graphic Designer: Samantha Serna Graphic Design Interns: Noemi Solis, Joshua Fraklin


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Operations Manager: Sarah Estrada Business Support Specialist: Samantha Lopez

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Copyright - The entire contents of the San Antonio Current are copyright 2017 by Euclid Media Group LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Publisher does not assume any liability for unsolicited manuscripts, materials, or other content. Any submission must include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. All editorial, advertising, and business correspondence should be mailed to the address listed above. Subscriptions - Additional copies or back issues may be purchased at the Current offices for $1. Six-month domestic subscriptions may be purchased for $75; one-year subscriptions for $125.


CURRENT • San Antonio City Guide •


2/12/18 10:29 PM

Delicious Texas Style Burgers

& Ice Cold Beer!


1423 MCCULLOUGH AVE | 210-226-7556 | HOURS: MON-THURS: 10:30AM-9PM | FRI: 10:30AM-10PM | SAT: 11AM-9PM 2619 SE MILITARY DRIVE | 210-617-7797 | HOURS: MON- WED: 10:30AM–10PM | THUR-SAT: 10:30AM–11PM



Gary Sweeney


Let’s Fiesta, San Antonio! // A brief

After the Fair’s Over //

history of a remarkable celebration

The “redemption story” of Hemisfair Park Fascinating Facts & Folklore //

The River Walk // A unique

destination, an evolving life force

PARKS & REC Park Out // Get outside without leaving the city limits

From healing waters to eerie entities, the Alamo City has an eclectic past

The Missions // A cultural legacy

Sidewalk Storytelling // A


guide to San Antonio’s historic neighborhoods


Celebrating Colonization? //

Lasting Power //

The oldest living San Antonian cultures are fighting erasure

eateries to visit


Can’t-Miss Bites // Some favorites

Alamo City Jazz History //

ARTS & CULTURE Swimming in “Common Currents”

// Artists dive into 300 years of San Antonio history


25 shops to choose from, we pick our favorites for each occasion

Exploring the San Antonio Art Scene // Essential museums +

Get Gone // Trails and swimming

holes near SA MUSIC


Música de San Anto // Alamo City

LATE NIGHT Shaken & Stirred // Bars for when you want a proper cocktail Breweries to Know // San Antonio’s craft beer game is nothing to sneeze at Dives We Love // Classic bars where everyone will know your name The New Cantina // Local joints are keeping the tradition alive with a twist On the Cover

from San Anto’s restaurant boom

Remembering the Keyhole Club

Panaderías Plus // Where to satiate your pan dulce, croissant and éclair cravings

Homegrown Beats // Our favorite

The Third Place // With more than

Pump up the Volume // A guide to

Thanks to the kind folks at Hemisfair, we were given access to a treasure trove of HemisFair ’68 memorabilia, including this illustrated postcard which mixed-media artist Kelly O’Connor brought into a contemporary context with one of her signature collage techniques.

SA’s music scene

Art direction by Carlos Aguilar

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songs of the last 300 years

You’ll Love Our

HANDCRAFTED COCKTAILS & INFUSIONS Mango Melon Tequila Blanco, creamy tropical mango, sweet Texas cantaloupe

Las Fresas Tequila Blanco, both sweet & tart berries, Mexican canela

Zapatista Tequila Añejo, chile de árbol, ancho & pasilla, toasted cinnamon, orange rind

6 Chiles Tequila Tequila Blanco, sweet red & yellow peppers, spicy jalapeños, habaneros

Piña Mezcal Mezcal de gusano, tropical pineapple, sweet orange, vanilla bean

Los Pepinos Vodka & thinly sliced crisp cucumbers

HAPPY HOUR M-F 4-7PM 1401 S. Flores St #102, San Antonio, TX 78204 • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 7


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Tricentennial Edition


after year, Current staffers and freelancers churn out City Guide — a glossy publication we strive to make useful and entertaining for locals and tourists alike. While we typically try to balance City Guide with stories highlighting what’s new and exciting around town and practical listings (from coffee shops and cocktail bars to museums and music venues), San Antonio’s Tricentennial celebrations — combined with the 50th anniversary of HemisFair ’68 — inspired us to add something to the mix: a nostalgia trip through the complex history of the Alamo City. Divided into sections that more or less mirror a weekly issue of the Current, our 2018 edition of City Guide rewinds to the 1960s for a HemisFair feature ... and then more than 300 years back in time for a glimpse of what San Antonio was like before Spanish explorers and missionaries arrived and established what we now know as the Alamo. It offers refreshers on local treasures such as the missions, the River Walk and Fiesta; builds a historical timeline of San Antonio based entirely on works by artists participating in “Common Currents,” a Tricentennial exhibition series; revisits old-school dives and long-running restaurants; and pays tribute to some of the musicians who’ve helped put our city on the map. Throughout our attempt to step back in time and look at San Antonio with fresh eyes, this project revealed more than a few fascinating tidbits about San Antonio and also reminded us that there’s always more to learn about the multi-layered history of this place we call home. Bryan Rindfuss Managing Editor • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 9


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NOT LOVING YOUR BIRTH CONTROL? WE CAN HELP. Our providers are experts in the full range of birth control options.

Planned Parenthood South Texas


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Ten Favorite

reasons to visit the


Art makes you smart.

So many conversation starters.

We put the art in PARTY every 2nd Friday.

A Botero Venus, a Korean Buddha, an Indian Yogini … we've got it all!

This is your art collection, San Antonio.

You can see the world without leaving the city. If you’re feeling old, we’ve got older (5,000 years older).

It's like hitting the refresh button.

A Tricentennial exhibition

Through May 13

Where else are you going to take your in-laws?

Send us your favorite reasons:

200 West Jones Avenue | San Antonio, Texas 78215 | 210.978.8100 | • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 17


Downtown. For Real.

633 S S T M A R Y ’ S S T, S A N A N TONIO, T X 7820 4


C CURRENT A L L •FSanOAntonio R M City O RGuide E • NFO|210 . 85 8 .15 81 |LIVEAGAVE.COM • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 19


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11815 PERRIN BEITEL RD | 210-627-6008


Recycled fashion including designer wear, basics, jeans and one-of-a-kind items for $ 7 or less! Olmos Park 145 W. Olmos Drive, San Antonio

210-832-8838 | Buffalo Outlet is part of Buffalo Exchange, LTD. • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 21




Live Boundlessly

Pilot The Future OF






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arts & culture


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arts & culture


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arts & culture

y d e m o C e v Li k e e W A s t 6 Nigh

Laugh Yo u r Ass Off!

618 NW Loop 410, Near Airport 210.541.8805

Top Touring

Comedians 849 E. Commerce @ Rivercenter Mall 210.229.1420 30

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free event!

POP CON AT San Antonio Public Library

M P 4 M A 0 1 • 8 1 0 2 , 3 H SATURDAY • MARC



featuring author & artist guests celebrations of anime, manga, television & film games • crafts • cosplay & art contests



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331 W. MULBERRY AVE | 210.738.8089

Volunteers Needed for Diabetes Study UT Health Science Center at San Antonio IRB Approved September 28, 2015

If you: · Are 18 – 75 years old · Have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, or · Are a healthy individual with or without a family history of Type 2 Diabetes · Are diet controlled or on diabetes medication

Depending on study eligibility, you may receive: · · · ·

Physical exams Blood Work Diabetes medications Diabetes and Pre-diabetes Education · Diet and Exercise counseling · Compensation for your time and travel

Principal Investigator: Ralph A. DeFronzo, M.D. The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Department of Medicine, Diabetes Division Studies conducted at the Texas Diabetes Institute and the Audie L. Murphy

Purpose of our research program: To discover pathophysiologic processes and pharmacologic interventions that can be utilized in the diagnosis and treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.

For more information, contact: (210)358-7200 34

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arts & culture


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arts & culture

Specializing in Corsets, Waist Trainers, & Shapewear! 4522 Fredericksburg Rd. Inside San Antonio, Tx 78201 (210)530-1859






BOWLING ARCADE BILLIARDS PUB GRILL 2018 marks our 30th Anniversary and San Antonio’s Tricentennial! Help us celebrate all year long with monthly themed parties! Watch our Facebook page for updates on specials and events! • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 37

arts & culture

Exploring the San Antonio Art Scene ESSENTIAL MUSEUMS + GALLERIES


it’s particularly evident on First Fridays around the Blue Star Arts Complex and Second Saturdays in Southtown The Arts District (STAD), San Antonio boasts a robust and ravenous art community that remains active through thick and thin, rain or shine. While those two monthly traditions present ideal opportunities to get familiar with the Southtown scene and its eclectic, artist-run and DIY spaces, San Antonio’s museums and longstanding institutions can be counted on nearly every day of the week, covering bases ranging from natural history and early Texana to worldly relics and contemporary art from the Alamo City and far beyond. Essential Museums Briscoe Western Art Museum Often overlooked or misunderstood, the handsome Briscoe dedicates itself to “the preservation of the art, history and culture of the American West.” Housing a wide range of art and artifacts spanning five centuries (“from the Spanish conquest to the present day”), the museum counts Pancho Villa’s saddle (c. 1890-1910) and Santa Anna’s sword (1852) among its historical highlights. Making the most of a prime location along the River Walk, the collection spills out into the McNutt Sculpture Garden, a serene courtyard dotted with bronze works created by Westerninspired artists including Kent Ullberg, R.V. Greeves, Sandy Scott and Enrique “Kiko” Guerra. Typically hosted during the museum’s weekly free hours (4-9 p.m. Tuesdays), cultural programs like the monthly 210|West Gallery Talks and the excellent Native Film Series (February-April) make for ideal outings for first-time visitors. 210 W. Market St., (210) 299-4499, McNay Art Museum Beyond the attractions one might expect from Texas’ first modern art museum — including


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exhibitions such as the poignant 2017 Chuck Ramirez retrospective “All This and Heaven Too,” and the 2018 offerings “Something to Say: The McNay Presents 100 Years of African American Art,” “4 Texans: The Next Chapter” and “30 Americans: Rubell Family Collection” — the McNay draws all walks and ages with a variety of special programs and maintains an open-gate policy for picnicking on the picturesque grounds surrounding Marion Koogler McNay’s former residence, a 24room Spanish Colonial Revival mansion. Although it offers free admission every Thursday from 4-9 p.m., the McNay takes things to the next level during monthly Second Thursday celebrations combining gallery tours, live music, food trucks and cold brews in a super-relaxed atmosphere. And for the cinephiles, the museum hosts regular screenings that complement exhibitions, not to mention classic revivals, foreign flicks and art-house fare in conjunction with its excellent Get Reel Film Series. 1600 N. New Braunfels Ave., (210) 824-5368, San Antonio Museum of Art Partnered with the Witte under the umbrella of the San Antonio Museum Association from 1925 to 1994, the San Antonio Museum of Art came into its own back in 1981 following a multimillion-dollar renovation of its historic digs in the former Lone Star Brewery. In addition to a robust collection that covers pre-Columbian, Spanish Colonial, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, contemporary art and Latin American folk art, SAMA welcomes traveling exhibitions and collaborations (presented in partnership with Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, “San Antonio 1718: Art from Viceregal Mexico” stands out as a Tricentennial highlight) and hosts a wide assortment of

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Clockwise from far left: Nick Cave, Soundsuit (McNay Art Museum, Rubell Family Collection); Susie Monday, Fandango (Southwest School of Art); Michael Menchaca, “Vignettes of San Antonio” (Ruiz-Healy Art); Artist unknown, New Spain, Sister María Antonia of the Immaculate Conception (“San Antonio 1718: Art from Viceregal Mexico”)

engaging programs — from weekly art talks and “Sketching in the Galleries” sessions to film screenings and monthly Art Parties presented in partnership with KRTU. Pro-tip: Take advantage of free general admission from 4-9 p.m. on Tuesdays and 10 a.m.-noon on Sundays. 200 W. Jones St., (210) 978-8100, The DoSeum Since opening its doors back in June 2015, The DoSeum, the new incarnation of the San Antonio Children’s Museum, with its cutting-

edge technology and focus on learning-through-doing, has wowed, engaged and educated visitors of all ages. Sure, it’s a wonderful place to take the kiddos — a place where they can burn as much energy exercising their brains as their feet — but it’s also a place where mom or dad can enjoy a rejuvenating lift in their own curiosity and wonder at the world we inhabit. The stunning facility, designed by local architects at Lake Flato to meet rigorous standards of sustainability and green building, features six distinct and permanent interactive centers for play/learning: The Big Outdoors, Little Town, Sensations Studio, Explore (a geography and culture exhibit), Innovation Station, Spy Academy and Imagine It! (a story creation center). Fusing elements often thought of as opposites, The DoSeum’s exhibits and programming meld cultural education with arts education and a deep STEM focus with a push for creative and critical thinking. • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 39


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with smart programming that puts local artists at the forefront but never ignores outsiders. 116 Blue Star, (210) 227-6960,

2800 Broadway, (210) 212-4453, Witte Museum With a rich history that dates back to the 1920s, the beloved Witte Museum celebrates the Lone Star State via traveling exhibitions, signature programs and permanent collections encompassing natural, regional, world and military history, anthropology and early Texas art. Growing in leaps and bounds since 2004, the museum recently unveiled a new Dinosaur Hall, a People of the Pecos Gallery, an Acequia Garden and other facilities where guests can experience Texas through three distinct windows of time — “millions of years ago … thousands of years ago … and hundreds of years ago when legendary chili queens, cattle kings, cowboys and vaqueros filled this wild and vivid land.” 3801 Broadway, (210) 357-1900, Essential Galleries Artpace Within the confines of a former Hudson automobile dealership, anything is possible, and that’s the way Linda Pace wanted it. Pace opened the

doors to Artpace with the intent to nurture artists’ “freedom to dream” and engage locals with an innovative, international art world; her space was to be a playground of possibility for all parties. Even though Pace passed away in 2007, her legacy lives on through this unparalleled institution that annually hosts three trios of resident artists (one Texasbased, one national and one international) as well as varied group and solo exhibitions in the Hudson Showroom and Main Space — a street-level gallery viewable by passersby. 445 N. Main Ave., (210) 212-4900, Blue Star Contemporary Both the anchor of the Blue Star Arts Complex and a symbol of the independent spirit of San Antonio’s art scene, Blue Star Contemporary extends far beyond gallery walls via a Berlin residency and collaborations with the San Antonio Botanical Garden, Trinity University and the San Antonio International Airport. Treated to a hardearned, half-million-dollar facelift in 2016, the pioneering space upholds its status as the genesis of First Friday festivities while always pushing forward

FL!GHT Making its earliest marks on the scene by launching “viral T-shirt and sticker campaigns” from a DIY space in the Blue Star Art Silos, gallery owner Justin Parr and his “senior creative co-conspirator” Ed Saavedra’s FL!GHT Gallery helped establish Second Saturday in the South Flores/Lone Star corridor before returning to the Blue Star Arts Complex in 2014. Blurring lines between young and old, high and low, reverent and irreverent, the influential, artist-run mainstay has admirably championed myriad aspects of San Antonio’s artistic landscape, ranging from sprawling group shows to solo exhibitions for the likes of James Cobb, Ángel Rodríguez-Díaz and David Alcantar. 134 Blue Star, (210) 872-2586,

Galería Guadalupe But one of the creative arms of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, Galería Guadalupe upholds the Westside nonprofit’s mission to promote and preserve Latino and Chicano arts and culture via exhibitions and gallery talks. Come holiday season, Galería Guadalupe plays host to Hecho a Mano, an annual favorite that showcases handcrafted wares by an eclectic assortment of local artists. 723 S. Brazos St., (210) 271-3151, Presa House Gallery Despite an unassuming facade one could easily mistake for a private residence (built in 1910), Presa House Gallery packs a well-executed punch with monthly offerings that run the gamut from themed group shows to solo exhibitions for emerging and mid-career artists. Headed by local movers and shakers Rigoberto Luna Clockwise from top left: Heyd Fontenot, “Unnatural Urges” (Artpace); Cosby Lindquist, “Not Much Larger Than a Taco Bell” (FL!GHT Gallery); Gilbert Martinez, Ice Cream (Presa House Gallery) • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 41


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From left: Laura Wilson, Hutterite Girl in Field, Duncan Ranch Colony, Harlowton, Montana (Briscoe Western Art Museum); John Riepenhoff, Plein Air (Sala Diaz)

and Jenelle Esparza, the gallery has swiftly established itself as both a spot to watch and a destination for young collectors at the forefront of San Antonio’s art scene. On First Fridays, the gallery often hosts opening receptions that look and feel like artsy parties — complete with DJs and beer. 725 S. Presa St., (210) 445-6997, presahouse. Ruiz-Healy Art Incorporated in 2004 as a by-appointmentonly outfit and opened to the public in 2013 in the heart of Olmos Park, Patricia RuizHealy’s gallery represents both local and international artists while emphasizing “a Latin American, borderland, and Texas discourse.” One of three Texas members of the esteemed International Fine Print Dealers Association (IFPDA), the gallery actively participates in art fairs in Houston, Dallas, Miami and New York. Beloved for shows that combine local and foreign talent

with regional themes and big-city aesthetics, Ruiz-Healy Art showcases legends and emerging artists alike and also acts as the exclusive representative of the estate of late local hero Chuck Ramirez. 201-A E. Olmos Drive, (210) 804-2219, Sala Diaz Since its 1995 launch in a quaint Southtown house, Sala Diaz has emerged as a somewhat unassuming force to be reckoned with. Founded by accomplished artist Alejandro Diaz — who now resides in New York — the gallery hosts challenging, museum-quality shows, often with an experimental bent. In keeping with its homey appearance, the gallery often overflows during openings with a convivial bunch sipping beer in the front yard or chatting on the porch. Housed in the same building and named after late San Antonio artist Chuck Ramirez, the Casa Chuck Residency is described as “an invitational program through which Sala

Diaz provides critics, curators and writers a haven for varied creative pursuits.” 517 Stieren St., (972) 900-0047, Southwest School of Art Following its foundation as a nonprofit in 1965 and relocation to the historic Ursuline Convent and Academy in 1971, the Southwest Craft Center (known as the Southwest School of Art since 2010) expanded its campus by taking over a Sears Automotive Center in 1998 and rolled out an “intimate, intensive college degree program” in 2014. Now designated as the Lone Star State’s first independent art college, the SSA hosts regular exhibitions of contemporary works by regional, national and international artists (as well as faculty and students) in its museum-like John L. Santikos Building on Navarro Street as well as the quaint Ursuline Hall Gallery across the way on the historic Ursuline Campus. 300 Augusta St., (210) 2241848,

Southtown The Arts District Designed to “promote the creative culture and commerce within its community through cultural events and arts education,” Southtown The Arts District (STAD) extends beyond its namesake neighborhood to rally the creative troops in Collins Garden, King William, Lavaca, Lone Star and Roosevelt. While it maintains an active online calendar of art-centric events, STAD truly springs to life during the Second Saturday Artwalk — a long-running tradition echoing the grassroots beginnings of First Friday in and around the Blue Star Arts Complex. A consistent platform for emerging artists of all walks, the monthly happening buzzes with the energy of a block party — one that’s anchored by Andy and Yvette Benavides’ art complex at 1906 South Flores Street. A veritable labyrinth of edgy gallery spaces and studios — SMART projectspace, Gravelmouth Gallery, AP Artlab and Provenance Gallery to name a few — 1906 is a one-stop shop for Second Saturday gallery hopping in the ‘hood — which also encompasses noteworthy artist-run spaces at 1913 S. Flores (home to Freight Gallery & Studios, La Printería and Revenant Gallery) and along Lone Star Boulevard (Studio 111, Dock Space Gallery and LoneStar Studios among them). • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 43

food & drink

Lasting Power

LONG-STANDING EATERIES TO VISIT Alamo Café The addition of Patio 81 to the San Pedro location means you can enjoy vats of queso and wash it down in a cool bar setting. Both locations are perfect for big parties and even bigger fajita dinners. Multiple locations, Aldo’s Italian Ristorante Serving salads and pasta, complemented by grilled trout, chicken piccata and other classical Italian entrees, Aldo’s Italian Ristorante offers fine dining and European flair. A lovely atmosphere has enhanced the food for more than 30 years. 8539 Fredericksburg Road, (210) 696-2536, ▲Arirang Korean Restaurant Get ready to try some Korean snacks, or pan chan, at this spot — there’s at least 50 items on the bilingual menu and traditional soju, a ricebased distilled liquor, on offer. We’re a fan of the pa jeon, green onion pancakes stuffed with seafood, and anything with octopus, but there’s also plenty of kimchi and Korean barbecue. 2154 Austin Hwy., (210) 650-3845, Armadillos Texas-Style Burgers For more than 40 years residents of SA have gathered at Armadillos for ice-cold beer and incredible burgers. With an endless stream of jukebox tunes and their unique atmosphere, Armadillos is also the perfect place for your


next big party. 1423 McCullough Ave., (210) 226-9442, The Barbecue Station For more than 20 years, the crew has stood behind their promise for fresh, quality meats. Tender, succulent entrees dominate their menu as well as meats sold by the pound. 1610 NE Loop 410, (210) 824-9191, Barn Door A San Antonio institution, the historic Barn Door offers down-home fare with Texas hospitality. Steaks can be ordered blackened, rolled in black peppercorn or smothered in jalapeños. 8400 N. New Braunfels Ave., (210) 824-0116, ▶Biga on the Banks Bruce Auden’s menu includes such Southwest-Continental dishes as chicken-fried oysters with squid-ink linguini and pancetta, and grilled Texas quail, all of which can be paired to appropriate wines by the glass from Biga’s ample list. 203 S. St. Mary’s St., (210) 225-0722, Blanco Café This anchor of the homegrown chain serves massive Tex-Mex portions to happy weekend crowds. The just-right-greasy enchiladas are a fave of Current readers. Multiple locations, Bolner’s Meat Market Great meats come

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from great butchers and the staff at this cafeteria-style butcher shop knows how to smoke some mean brisket. 2900 S. Flores St., (210) 533-5112, ▶Burger Boy This rotund little chef keeps those in the know happy with home-style burgers made to order, crinkle-cut fries and fresh milkshakes. Look for a new location in the coming months. 2323 N. St. Mary’s St., (210) 735-1955, Cappycino’s/Cappy’s Both staples of Alamo Heights, both for a good reason. Though a fire threatened to shut down the beloved eateries a few years back, the staff used it as a reason to rebuild their kitchen. Cappycino’s packs in solid lunch options, and the adjacent Cappy’s lets you indulge in fine dining the SA-way with chicken and duck liver pâté, rack of lamb

food & Ddrink A W N


and PEI mussels. 5011 Broadway, (210) 8289669, Chris Madrid’s Another favorite (what can we say, San Anto loves burgers), Chris Madrid’s has made plenty of half-pound Macho-sized tostada burgers since its launch in 1977. Though its namesake passed away a few years ago, the Blanco Road spot is still filling those seats with great burgers, fresh fries and great service. 1900 Blanco Road, (210) 735-3552, Demo’s Greek Food With locations off Blanco, the Vineyard and St. Mary’s, this 20-year-old, local fast-casual chain isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Go for the tender beef souvlaki, but stay for the charming décor and belly dancing. Multiple

locations, DeWese’s Tip Top Café Stepping into this petite café will have you feeling like you’ve gone back to the times of poodle skirts and big hair. The fried chicken platter is as big as the Lone Star State. 2814 Fredericksburg Road, (210) 732-0191,

also a cut above. But don’t stop there: the tortas and huaraches are not to be missed. The breakfast menu, served all day, merits a try, too. 521 E. Woodlawn Ave., (210) 737-8646,

Earl Abel’s Since 1933, Earl’s has satisfied the appetites of SA locals with its vast menu of burgers, sandwiches, fried chicken, steaks and more. Grab a slice of chocolate ice-box pie or bread pudding — 1639 Broadway, (210) 8223358,

▲El Mirador Now under new ownership (the same folks that gave us The Esquire Tavern and Downstairs), El Mirador holds artful new interiors, and delicate menu tweaks. The ginger-laced Diablo cocktail is as spicy as ever, and the patio is the perfect backdrop for a business lunch, brunch with pals or date night. 722 S. St. Mary’s St., (210) 225-9444,

▲El Milagrito Their cheese enchiladas are titans of Tex-Mex, topped with good, chunky gravy that indicates Milagrito’s guisada is

▶El Siete Mares The Westside’s go-to for fish fillets, and sopas de marisco, El Siete Mares is still as fresh as ever. Don’t miss the shrimp • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 45

Every Sip, Each Bite, Expertly Crafted! JASONDADY.COM @CHEFJASONDADY



San Antonio Restaurants 46

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food & drink

cocktail. Get there early on weekends, the joint is often filled with large, lively groups. 3831 W. Commerce St., (210) 436-6056. ▲French Sandwiches Tucked away in the same shopping center that houses India Palace is French Sandwiches with its hearty, leafy French Vietnamese sandwiches and excellent soups and salads. Don’t miss the grilled pork sandwich or the French onion soup. 8448 Fredericksburg Road, (210) 692-7019. Fujiya Japanese Garden Servers in traditional attire, a long list of sushi rolls to choose from and a collection of Japanese bites (get the katsudon) have made this a favorite in the city since 1972. 9030 Wurzbach Road, (210) 615-7553,

Hungry For



Garcia’s Mexican Food You can’t call yourself a true San Antonian until you’ve enjoyed a brisket and guacamole taco from Garcia’s. Helmed by the Garcia family since 1962, this tiny nook on Fredericksburg is a piece of heaven in a plump tortilla. 842 Fredericksburg Road, (210) 735-4525. Golden Wok Sometimes you want tiny pockets of deliciousness in your mouth. Enter Golden Wok’s extensive dim sum menu, which helped propel it as Best Chinese Restaurant in several of our Best of San Antonio readers’ polls. The hargau, tapioca skin stuffed with shrimp, are a staff favorite. Visit the Wurzbach location on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m.-2:3o p.m. for a dim sum house feel. Pick your poison from carts brought around to each table. Multiple locations, Green Vegetarian Cuisine With locations at the Pearl and Alon Market, folks have more ways to eat green. Entrées can instantly be made into a vegan dishes with the substitution of regular cheese to Daiya cheese for a buck more. Multiple locations, India Palace Buffet dishes are changed regularly, and nothing seems really tired. Saag paneer and dal makhani are reliable staples since 1990. Avoid the lunch rush and opt for an intimate dinner. 8747 Fredericksburg Road, Suite 100, (210) 692-5262, Jacala Mexican Restaurant With a kitschy interior that screams Tex-Mex, Jacala has been a Westside fave since 1949. The great puffy tacos don’t hurt either. 606 West Ave., (210) 732-5222. Jim’s Restaurants A San Antonio staple since 1947, this diner is your go-to for late night fare to fuel a night out or study session. Multiple locations, John the Greek The flavors of Athens, which have been served in this Greek home-style eatery since 1988, make John the Greek • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 47


Come by and taste one, of our refreshing cocktails or make one at home! All of our cocktail recipes are listed on our website.

s i g n at u r e m u l e 1 oz fresh lime juice 1 oz simple syrup 1 oz texas prickly pear spirit mint 2 leaves 1.5 oz fevertree ginger beer

muddle mint leaves with lime juice, simple syrup & spirits add ice & shake pour in a copper mug & top with ginger beer | 723 Front Street, Comfort, TX | (830) 995-2924 48

CURRENT • San Antonio City Guide •

food & Ddrink A W N Antonio je ne sais quoi are the draws at this Westside establishment. Portions are large (bring the whole family), but remember to bring cash; our critics recommend the brisket and guacamole puffy tacos. 822 SW 19th, (210) 432-7171, Sari-Sari Filipino Restaurant Likely one of the few spots in town to offer halo-halo, or Filipino shaved ice, Sari-Sari also offers an extensive list of soups, starters, entrees, all-day breakfast and baked goods. 5700 Wurzbach Road, (210) 647-7274,

so compelling. Avgolemono soup, gyros, souvlaki and mousaka just like ya-ya used to make. 16602 San Pedro Ave., (210) 403-0565, Josephine Street Café Since 1979, Josephine’s has always been a downtown gem with its signature steak and whiskey offerings. Stop by Josephine’s for a 16-ounce Texas T-bone and feel enriched in a downtown tradition. 400 E. Josephine St., (210) 224-6169, La Fogata There are several reasons to visit La Fogata: the arboreal wonderland of a patio, the tequila-laden margaritas, the friendly staff, the light starters, the hearty enchiladas … should we go on? 2427 Vance Jackson Road, (210) 3401337, ▲Liberty Bar The tilted building is but a faint memory. This salmon-tinged Southtown eatery is rich in history and locally sourced menu items, from the hefty bread and creative appetizers to the lightly charred quail in piquant green mole and Virginia Green’s chocolate cake. Stop by on Monday’s for half-off bottles of wine. 1111 S. Alamo St., (210) 227-1187, Little Red Barn This little red chophouse isn’t so little, and its iconic red building is visible from the highway. For over 50 years, Little Red Barn has catered to hungry SA diners in a folksy dining hall. Don’t mind the faux-pistol-clad servers, it’s just part of the aesthetic. 1902 S. Hackberry St., (210) 5324235, Los Barrios One of San Antonio’s most beloved Mexican restaurants (yes, that is saying a lot), Los Barrios’ exhaustive menu includes items like “the world’s only gourmet sour nachos,” 16 different Mexican dinner plates and several arguably more interesting dishes like the Nuevo León specialty

Cortadillo Zuazua Style, juicy beef tenderloin stewed with veggies and spices. 4223 Blanco Road, (210) 732-6017, La Marginal The rice with pinto beans here is savory and on point in terms of flavor thanks to a decent sofrito with olives and ham. The buffet offering is affordable and workable, as long as you stick with the tender roast pork, pernil, and salty, sweet plantains. 2447 Nacogdoches Road, (210) 804-2242,

Sea Island Shrimp House After celebrating 50 years as San Antonio’s go-to Lenten spot, Sea Island is still cranking out hits. It’s not Port A, but it’ll do — especially when you order the “world famous” charbroiled shrimp plate, of 15 lightly breaded, skewered and citrusy shrimp served alongside your choice of sides. Multiple locations, Schilo’s This delicatessen is the real deal. The house-made sausages are great, but don’t miss the split pea soup and pumpernickel bread. 424 E. Commerce St., (210) 223-6692, Soluna Home of the potent Chispa cocktail, this Alamo Heights restaurant comes alive on weekends. Pore over the entire menu and work your way through it with several visits. We won’t judge. 7959 Broadway, (210) 9308070,

▼Mi Tierra Restaurant & Bakery For those in the know, Mi Tierra is truly a wonder. The panadería at the entrance alerts that this is the real deal. Then there’s the typical fare, including some of the best menudo in town. An institution since its 1941 founding, Mi Tierra is one of the few places still open 24/7, holidays included. 218 Produce Row, (210) 2251262,

Sorrento Ristorante e Pizzeria Since 2001, the Ciccone family has prepared tasty pizza, seafood and pasta out of their Alamo Heights kitchen. They specialize in cuisine from the south of Italy, including a time-honored Lasagna Della Casa topped with a house pink sauce. 5146 Broadway, (210) 824-0055,

Mary Ann’s Pig Stand Since 1927, Mary Ann’s Pig Stand has stood the test of time. This vintage diner is full of kitsch and worth a visit for their pies alone. 1508 Broadway, (210) 2229923,

Teka Molino The puffy tacos are a must, but don’t sleep on the guacamole cups and bean rolls. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Teka has been serving San Antonio for more than 60 years. Multiple locations,

▲Niki’s Tokyo Inn Don’t let the outside fool you. Inside is masterful sushi, fresh and simple. Some even say it’s the most authentic Japanese food in town. Sit at the sushi bar and watch your sushi being delicately formed, Western-style or choose Japanese-style seating. Don’t miss the tempura dinners or ramen. 819 W. Hildebrand Ave., (210) 736-5471.

Thai Dee Always a contender of Best Thai in our Best of San Antonio readers’ poll, Thai Dee serves up what we once described as “ridiculously good, huge dishes at rock-bottom prices.” Check the specials for truly authentic dishes and remember to BYOB. 5307 Blanco Road, (210) 342-3622, .

Paesanos Joe Cosniac’s original Lincoln Heights heir serves the signature breaded, garlicky Shrimp Paesano, a meaty eggplant parmigiana, and if the devotees are to be believed, one of the best steaks in town. Multiple locations, Ray’s Drive Inn Puffy tacos and a certain San

Zito’s Deli Sometimes you just need a great sandwich. Let the staff at Zito’s — established in 1974 — take care of you with one of their massive Serious Sandwiches. Filled with salami, two types of ham, provolone, cheddar, black olives, and LTO on fluffy homemade Italian flatbread, this sando means business. Multiple locations, • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 49

Nothing tops the tower Exceptional DINING AT CHART HOUSE

Observation deck WITH incredible views

three 4-d theater rides

739 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd. • San Antonio 210-223-3101 • 50

CURRENT • San Antonio City Guide •

food & Ddrink A W N macaroni and cheese and goat cheese-stuffed grape leaves. Don’t miss sister restaurant’s Battalion and Rebelle. 1024 S. Alamo St., (210) 354-1024, The Granary ’Cue & Brew Sure, we could have listed this restaurant under barbecue, but that would be selling it short. With quality Texas ’cue served up for lunch and gastronomy-influenced dishes for dinner such as the 44 Farms beef clod with coffee quinoa crunch or grilled veal breast and crispy sweetbreads, The Granary is more dress up than down. 602 Avenue A, (210) 2280124, Mixtli Opened in 2013, Mixtli (or Nahuatl for cloud) ups the ante on multi-course dinners. Led by chefs Diego Galicia and Rico Torres, this progressive restaurant shares beautiful dishes, all telling the story of Mexico one region at a time, for 12 guests at a time, inside a renovated train boxcar. 5251 McCullough Ave., (210) 338-0746, Restaurant Gwendolyn Old is new again. SA’s pristine locavore has added a la carte options to their prix-fixe offerings making it that much more accessible for diners to check out this award-winning fare. 152 E Pecan, Ste 100, (210) 222-1849,

Can’t-Miss Bites SOME FAVORITES FROM SAN ANTO’S RESTAURANT BOOM Barbaro Now helmed by chef Matthew Garcia, Barbaro is staying consistent with playful pies, technique-driven sides, and plain delicious desserts. Did we mention the extensive list of cocktails and quaint Monte Vista setting make this the perfect spot for late night ‘za? 2720 McCullough Ave., (210) 320-2261, Biga on the Banks Bruce Auden’s menu includes such Southwest-Continental dishes as chicken-fried oysters with squid-ink linguini and pancetta, and grilled Texas quail, all of which can be paired to appropriate wines by the glass from Biga’s ample list. 203 S. St. Mary’s St., (210) 2250722, Bliss Chef Mark Bliss (see what they did there?) opened his namesake dining room with evident attention to detail. From the elaborate charcuterie boards to the iconic chicken fried oysters and expert service, Bliss is is one of Southtown’s dining jewels. 926 S. Presa St., (210) 225-2547,

Silo Elevated Cuisine An elegant update on shrimp and grits and signature chicken-fried oysters are among the favored dishes at this restaurant and bar. The Dominion area is home to the latest iteration, Silo Terrace Oyster Bar and it’s as delicious as it sounds. Don’t miss Italian Nonna and Silo Prime inside the Fairmount Hotel. Multiple locations,

The Cookhouse Chef Pieter Sypesteyn keeps Tobin Hill happy with this Nawlins-inspired kitchen. From po’boys at lunch filled with blackened catfish and barbecue shrimp to dinner with pan-roasted trout, smoked duck breast and a redfish on the half shell, Cookhouse has wow diners since 2014. 720 E. Mistletoe Ave., (210) 3208211, ▲Cured Since 2013, Cured has helped cement the Pearl as a dining destination. The charcuterie is made in-house, produce is sourced from local farms and Cured’s dinner service means chef Steve McHugh and his staff can really stretch their legs with a collection of small plates (bison tartare, anyone?), large plates (rabbit cassoulet for bigger appetites) and recently an heirloom corn five-course tasting menu. 306 Pearl Pkwy., Suite 101, (210) 314-3929, Feast A contemporary gem on the Southtown corridor, the Feast here is for all of the senses. The modern and glamorous décor sets the scene for cocktails and a fun twist on familiar classics, like lettuce-wrapped barbacoa, sought-after

Signature Start with the five-piece house-made charcuterie selection. Presented on an antique wooden paddle, it’s a marvel of composition and a textbook example of varying tastes and textures from salty to sweet and plush to rustic. These and more discoveries are why you should head to Andrew Weissman’s latest endeavor. 16401 La Cantera Pkwy., (210) 247-0176, Supper Hotel Emma’s resident restaurant is led by chef John Brand (formerly of Las Canarias). The Midwesterner is packing in new American flavors from breakfast through dinner. You can’t go wrong with the smoked crispy quail or braised pork with charred cabbage, almonds, raisings and mustard. 136 E. Grayson St., (210) 448-8351, Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery Great beer (brewed by Les Locke) pairs well with solid bites from chef Jeffrey Balfour and staff. From shrimp boils with zesty Crystal dressing, to double-stacked burgers, and buttery pretzels, Southerleigh’s a catch-all for Pearl-goers in search of seafood, brunch, a really great michelada, a place to cool off with a cream ale or a place to celebrate that promotion. 136 E. Grayson St., (210) 455-5701, • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 51

food & drink

Panaderias Plus




La Panadería

CURRENT • San Antonio City Guide •

food & Ddrink A W N

CommonWealth Coffeehouse & Bakery


The must-visit stop on every pastry lover’s bucket list, Bakery Lorraine (with locations inside The DoSeum, in the Pearl, the Medical Center, and most recently The Rim) offers custom orders along with their famous macarons, delicious tarts and drool-worthy cinnamon rolls. Stop in for a savory breakfast or lunch, and be sure to save room for dessert. Multiple locations,


The latest member of the Pasha Mediterranean Grill restaurant family, Baklovah Bakery specializes in cookies, cakes and flavors from across the Mediterranean, including, of course, plenty of baklava. 9329 Wurzbach Road, Suite 104, (210) 982-3231,


This panaderia has been baking homemade pastries since 1961 and is a staple of San Antonio’s midtown. Check out the bakery’s “pan de muerto” during Dia de los Muertos, or stop in for Rosca de Reyes in January. 803 W. Hildebrand Ave. (210) 7362253,


Stop in for a savory quiche for breakfast, a toasty sandwich for lunch or a tasty treat anytime of the day. Alamo Heights’ Bird Bakery, opened by Elizabeth Chambers and husband Armie Hammer in 2012, is your

one-stop shop for pies, cookies, brownies and everything else your sweet tooth desires. 5912 Broadway, (210) 804-2473,


You can guarantee that anything from this family-owned French bakery, a sister location to Saveurs 209, will be made from scratch and will be absolutely delicious. Stop by for classic baguettes and more. 207 Broadway, (210) 6393165,


The Bread Box is a carb-lover’s paradise. Go for the specialty sandwich, quiche or burger, and stay for the dessert. 555 W. Bitters Road, Suite 115, (210) 277-8612,


On the daily menu, you can find fresh whole-honey wheat, old-fashioned white and Birdman bread, however, Broadway Daily offers other daily offerings. The sour cream pecan muffin is a must. 5001 Broadway, (210) 822-1621,


A staple in San Antonio, CommonWealth Coffeehouse & Bakery offers authentic French pastries made from scratch daily, Cuvee coffee and crepes for brunch every Saturday in a quaint space and chickenfilled patio. 118 Davis Court, (210) 560-2955,


If you’re shopping around for a custom cake, Cake Art scores with customers across the city. From baby showers to wedding groom cakes to cupcake towers, they can do it all. 18402 Hwy. 281 N., (210) 277-0308,


Cinderella Bakery, a San Anto institution since opening in 1960, offers cakes, muffins, biscuits, donuts and tamales for all occasions. 1261 Saltillo St., Suite A (210) 433-1797,


Traditional Mexican pastries, barbacoa on fresh tortillas and cheap treats. What more could you ask for from this West Avenue favorite? 3309 West Ave., (210) 349-3373.


Brown Coffee serves as the perfect bean pairing for the elaborate cupcakes, cheesecakes, cookies and cakes made fresh at this Dominion Ridge Shopping Center bakery. 22211 I-10 W., Suite 1111, (210) 892-3010,


If cakes, macarons and pastries are your jam, then Delice Chocolatier & Patisserie, owned by Susana Mijares — who competed on Food Network’s Spring Baking Championship — is the place for you. 946 N. Loop 1604 W., Suite 145, (210) 545-2200, • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 53

food & drink

Bird Bakery


The bread cultura at La Panadería extends from its tasty croissants to its traditional pan dulce. A new downtown location opened last summer with a variety of sandwiches, salads, signature pan dulce and ornate custard-filled tarts. Multiple locations,


For traditional Mexican pastries, custom cakes and and crowd-pleaser pan dulces, look no further than Panifico Bake Shop. 602 NW 24th St., (210) 434-9290,


This Northside bakery and espresso bar offers a variety of house-made breads, baked goods, sweets, sandwiches and delicious burgers. 923 N. Loop 1604 E., Suite 101, (210) 764-4000,


Offering cookies, muffins, danishes, cupakes and more, Romelia’s is a little slice of heaven located in The Strand. 11255 Huebner Road, (210) 437-1073, facebook. com/romeliasbakery.



Conchas, empanadas, tres leches and all your other favorites can be found here. 2604 S. Hackberry St., (210) 532-3767.


At this Olmos Park bakery, you’ll find French pastries, soups, sandwiches, panini and plenty more. Burn off those calories at neighboring Anytime Fitness. 4212 McCullough Ave., (210) 826-5667,


Lily’s Cookies doesn’t just create cutethemed cookies, they create art. For all your wedding, baby, seasonal and Texasthemed treats, Lily’s is the best bakery in town. 2716 McCullough Ave. (210) 832-0886,



Find a three-pound cinnamon roll here. 918 N. Main Ave., (210) 222-9422,


This family-owned establishment offers savory eats like the chorizo and egg torta, as well as Mexican coffee, sourced from Cuetzalan, Mexico, hand-rolled croissants and seasonal treats. 2211 NW Military Hwy., Suite 131, (210) 209-3463,


Whether you’re looking for simple sweets, a custom cake or an elaborate holiday dinner, Nadler’s Bakery & Deli has got you covered. 1621 Babcock Road, (210) 340-1021,

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This bakery and coffee shop keeps a stock of bánh mì, French pastries and 30 flavors of fresh smoothies and tea. 602 NW Loop 410, Suite 126, (210) 541-9689, sav.patisserie.


This family-owned-and-operated bakery uses the high quality ingredients to bring you bread pudding, cupcakes, croissants and more. 4421 De Zavala Road, (210) 4925777,


This quirky local cafe serves up brunch and American fare, as well as pastries, beer and wine. 6322 N. New Braunfels Ave., (210) 822-0761,


7701 Broadway St. #124 | | M-S 4PM-2am HAPPY HOUR: ALL DAY SUN & MON | TUES - FRI 4 - 7PM | DAILY 11 PM - 2AM | LATE NIGHT MENU UNTIL 12AM • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 55








C A L L : 210.369.9192 | 56

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C O L D D R A F T & H A N D C R A F T E D C O C K TA I L S .


HAPPY HOURS: MONDAY - SUNDAY, 4PM - 8PM • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 57

food & drink



Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling

Without dipping into Hill Country territory (where you’ll find Cibolo Creek Brewing, New Braunfels Brewing Co. and lauded 5 Stones Artisan Brewing, to name a few), San Antonio proper has breweries aplenty.


Alamo Beer Co. The ever-expanding lineup of beers all began with an American blonde ale known as Alamo Golden Ale. The beer hall sits just under the Hays Street Bridge on the city’s Eastside. 202 Lamar St., (210) 872-5589,

Kunstler Brewing Co.

Blue Star Brewering Co. Established in 1996, one of the OGs of San Antonio brewing has a prime view of the Mission Reach extension of the River Walk. Stop in for a pint of Texican Lager, made specifically for South Texas, or the spunky Southtown Sour. 1414 S. Alamo St., Suite 105, (210) 212-5506, Busted Sandal Brewing Co. The Medical Center’s go-to brewery makes river drinkin’ easy with its 210 Ale. 7114 Oaklawn Drive, (210) 872-1486,


Freetail Brewing Co. With its taproom and brewery off South Presa and original brewpub, Freetail is keeping most area beer drinkers happy. Try the Bexarliner series or their side project Ghost Pixel. Multiple locations, The Granary ‘Cue & Brew The Pearl returned to its brewing roots with the opening of The Granary. Try a beer flight to sample all house offerings such as the coffee IPA or brown ale. 602 Avenue A, (210) 228-0124, HighWheel


CURRENT • San Antonio City Guide •

HighWheel Beer Works A product by Dorcol Distilling & Brewing Co., HighWheel’s lineup of brews includes Betty, the light and classic

food & drink

Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery

Kolsch, a porter that won’t knock you off your feet and monthly releases of seasonal brews. 1902 S. Flores St., (210) 229-0607, Künstler Brewing Co. Opened by co-owner and head brewer Vera Deckard and husband Brent, the brewery joined HighWheel off Flores with a fruit-forward Hawaiian Fog New England-style IPA, a tepache saison/farmhouse ale and a Ghost Tracks roasted oatmeal porter available on nitro. 302 E. Lachapelle, (210) 6884519, Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling Co. Whiskey and a growing lineup of beers can be found here. Try them for happy hour or find their first canned offering, San Antonio Lager, across town in select stores. 4834 Whirlwind Drive, (210) 775-2099, Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery Les Locke and his crew keep producing an eclectic lineup. Try the margarita gose or pick up a sixer of Texas Uncommon Ale. 136 E. Grayson St., (210) 455-5701,


Weathered Souls Brewing Co. The newest brewery on the block hits the city’s Northside with an ever-changing tap list of special releases and core beers. 606 Embassy Oaks, Suite 500, (210) 313-8796, • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 59

food & drink

Delicious Texas Style Burgers

& Ice Cold Beer!


1423 MCCULLOUGH AVE | 210-226-7556 | HOURS: MON-THURS: 10:30AM-9PM | FRI: 10:30AM-10PM | SAT: 11AM-9PM 2619 SE MILITARY DRIVE | 210-617-7797 | HOURS: MON- WED: 10:30AM–10PM | THUR-SAT: 10:30AM–11PM


The Third


Take In Poetry and Chisme Barrio Barista Drink This: Iced horchata latte Though currently closed for renovations (you’ll have to get your barbacoa grilled cheese fix at Sabina’s Coffee House in the meantime), Barrio Barista is home to chill digs and coffee by local roasters What’s Brewing. Stop in for spoken word when the shop reopens after February 14. 3735 Culebra Road, (210) 519-5403, Transition into Happy Hour Rosella at the Rand Drink This: Menta Be Available from 4 to 7 p.m., the happy hour at Rosella pushes you to put that laptop away and take in your surroundings. Grab a $6 cocktail, take in your metropolitan life and enjoy this iced coffeefueled minty concoction. 114 Houston St., (210) 595-1410. Kiddos Welcome at this Coffee shop CommonWealth Coffeehouse & Bakery Drink This: French press The original location is an Alamo Heights haven with little to no signage and sprawling patios. The new Yanaguana location inside the 1800s Koehler House ups that ante with an entire park for kids to explore. Mom’s who brunch (available Saturday and Sunday) will especially love the splash pad-adjacent shop when it fires back up this spring. 611 Hemisfair Blvd., (210) 686-4844, Where to Drink with the Pros Indy Coffee Co. Drink This: Eagle Scout


CURRENT • San Antonio City Guide •

food & Ddrink A W N syrup. 1320 E. Houston St., Suite A101, (210) 667-4347, . Pre- Gym Buzz Summermoon Wood-fired Coffee Drink This: Nitro on tap Sometimes you need that pre-Zumba jolt to really get you moving. The Austin-based Summermoon landed in San Antonio in a little more than a year ago, and is keeping Tobin Hill caffeinated with their fire-roasted beans. 3233 N. St. Mary’s St., (210) 320-1773, Under New Ownership La Taza Java Coffee House Drink This: Drip coffee Houston’s Katz Coffee has a place in San Antonio with La Taza, which changed owners this 2017. Corrina Perez is keeping the third place coffee house open with varied programming, artwork and a spruced up space. 15060 San Pedro Ave., (210) 494-8292,

Rosella at the Rand

Ten years ago, the closest coffee shop to UTSA was a Starbucks at Huebner Oaks. These days, the students, faculty and staff at the university are privy to some of Brooklyn, New York’s best beans, Parlor Coffee. The Eagle Scout, an espresso pour over eight ounces of hot water, allows you to taste every note, undertone and everything in between. 7114 UTSA Blvd., Suite 103, (210) 233-9203,

Hill Country Caffeine Wander’n Calf Espresso Bar & Bakery Drink This: Cuban A jaunt to the Hill Country doesn’t mean you’re SOL when it comes to quality coffee. Housed inside the 8th Street Market, Wander’n Calf should be your go-to for pour overs, lattes and more. And their private labels beans, available in 8-ounce and 1-pound bags, are roasted in San Antonio. 523 8th St., Comfort, (210) 802-9403, Make This Your Study/Work Haven Revolucion Coffee & Juice Drink This: Cold Brew This Alamo Heights spot has the perfect vibe for your studying or working needs. The wide open warehouse feel gives you just enough room to get those creative juices flowing and get an A on that test you’ve been

procrastinating studying for. Stay for a while and try something from their extensive list of vegetarian breakfast foods including their fruit-filled and amazing acai bowls. The cold brew is a standout pick to get that caffeine jolt you need to kill it on that work project, and you can pop out to the patio to enjoy your coffee and/or food on a nice day. 7959 Broadway, (210) 701-0725, Take in the Latte Artists Local Coffee at the Pearl Drink This: Latte (obviously) Whoever said you shouldn’t play with your food obviously hasn’t seen the latte art at Local Coffee. Make Local Coffee your stop for an afternoon pick-me-up after enjoying some shopping and playing at the Pearl. You can get your art and caffeine fix by ordering a smooth, frothy latte. There’s no telling what kind of latte art skills your barista — likely a contender for the monthly Thursday Night Throwdowns — is going to whip out. Don’t forget to get a couple of pics before sipping on this cup of coffee to capture the magic of a perfectly poured tulip, rosette or fern. 302 Pearl Pkwy., Suite 118, (210) 248-9133, Where to Go for Late Night Brew Halcyon Drink This: Cosmonaut Maybe you need a little boost? Vanilla vodka, Kahlua, house espresso, and half and half make up this indulgent concoction. Get the best of both worlds with this coffee spirit hybrid that might just make you jump up and dance to the live music you can often find in this Southtown spot on weekend nights. Take the party on down to this fun spot and indulge. 1414 S. Alamo St., (210) 277-7045, Where to Geek Out About Coffee Brown Coffee

Do it for the ’Gram Espressivo Coffee Drink This: Latte Though the exteriors and interiors of this coffee shop bucks the posh, stark all-whiteeverything trend followed by most shops, they’re home to a casual patio, and two baristas itching to create. Stop in for colorful lattes, and stenciled foam over single-origin coffee. 317 Probandt, For Inventive Coffee Mocktails Estate Coffee Co. Drink This: Pour over This itty-bitty shop on the city’s Near Eastside is still a destination to some, but for coffee connoisseurs, Estate is a coffee playground known for its in-shop roasted beans and creative specialty mocktails such as the cold brew shandy with locally made lemonade and Topo Chico or the coffee Old Fashioned complete with bourbon barrel smoked simple

CommonWealth Coffeehouse & Bakery • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 61




STONE OAK: 19141 STONE OAK PARKWAY #303 | 210-468-5533 HUEBNER ROAD: 10501 HUEBNER RD, SUITE #2 | 210-966-0166


CURRENT • San Antonio City Guide •

food & Ddrink A W N

Revolucion Coffee + Juice

Drink This: Black Coffee (Pour over) It’s no surprise that every time you walk up to the counter at Brown Coffee on Broadway the barista is ready to talk coffee. Aaron Blanco, founder and owner, sets a high bar for coffee education. The team at Brown is well-informed about everything from the beans themselves to how to prepare them. Blanco’s passion for coffee was featured in a documentary called CoffeeHunting: Kenya, produced in 2016, which is currently available on Netflix and Amazon Prime. So after you get the low-down on your expertly prepared pour over, grab it to go and plop down on your couch to watch the doc and see where the beans in your drink came from. 1800 Broadway, (210) 274-0702,

at Nacogdoches and 410 where you can walk up to their truck, have a nice chat, get your coffee, and then move on to wherever you’re going. A hot Americano is just the soul-warming beverage you need to get your day started on the right foot. At Mila, Marco Antonio Lastra services the Midtown area and the cycling crowd with Tweed Coffee out of Dallas. Try a splash of horchata made using Mexican vanilla. Over on Southtown, the 1965 Mobile Scout “Sweet Pea” is staffed by the same folks you’ll find at Estate Coffee Co. Grab a honey lavender latte, made using their own locally roasted beans on your way to work. For the perpetually busy, these guys are lifesavers. 2347 Nacogdoches Road/2202 Broadway/1203 S. Alamo St.

For Coffee on the Go Theory Coffee/Mila Coffee/ Sweet Pea by Estate Drink This: Americano/Horchata iced coffee/Honey lavender latte The team at Theory is small but mighty and you can always count on them being in their usual spot

You Won’t Need Earbuds Here Cafe Martinez Drink This: Tazón de Campo The proximity to the UT Health Science Center makes this spot the young, and hip coffee shop of your dreams. Inspired by the Argentine tradition of a

Estate Coffee Co.

community-centric environment, this spacious gathering place is the perfect place to come to find out what the kids are drinking these days. Try one of the Argentine menu items like the Tazón de Campo: an extra milky latte great for sipping on while you listen to their carefully crafted playlist. No need to pop in your headphones at this place. 7302 Louis Pasteur Drive, Suite 101, (210) 231-0095. Catch Up with a Friend on a Comfy Couch Olmos Perk

Drink This: Cappuccino There’s a lot to love at this Olmos Park coffee shop. The quintessential neighborhood coffee shop, it’s got something for everyone from private working spaces to friendly staff to a living room decor that’s the perfect environment to sit down with a friend and catch up on life. If you’ve got a lot of catching up to do, you can order one of their breakfast or lunch items and stay a while, or just enjoy a delicious cappuccino to sip on. 5223 McCullough Ave., (210) 492-1104, • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 63

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San Pedro Springs

Whether you’re looking to enjoy some fresh air, take your pup out on a scenic walk, or get the children out the door and into nature, San Antonio has no shortage of natural spots to pass the time. Secluded wildlife habitats, pristine picnic spots — even tiny railroad rides are just some of the things you’ll encounter in some of San Antonio’s best green spaces.

San Pedro Springs

This spot is the oldest park in San Antonio, and the second oldest in the entire country — people have gathered near the springs for around 12,000 years. The natural spring-fed


pond, once the center of a Payaya Indian village, is now a go-to spot for Tobin Hill residents looking to cool off in the unforgiving Texas heat. There’s something for everyone: aside from the pool, there are neighboring tennis courts, a skate park, a library and a theatre. 1315 San Pedro Ave.,

Japanese Tea Gardens

If you’re searching for some peace and quiet, or a place to practice your photography skills, the tea gardens are the place to be. It may not be a traditional park, but it’s still an ideal outdoor spot to break away from the daily grind and catch your breath while enjoying the calm ponds and delicate greenery. Bring a book to read over a cup of tea or under a pagoda. 3853 N. St. Mary’s St.,

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Brackenridge Park

Home to the San Antonio Zoo, a tiny train, golf course, playgrounds, gardens, fishing spots, birdwatching, and a wide variety of scenic picnic spots, there’s plenty to see at the 343-acre Brackenridge Park, which sits atop a limestone quarry built in the late 1800s. You can find a spot for the entire family to spend the day along the San Antonio River, with an expansive playground space for children to enjoy the outdoors from sunrise to sunset. 3853 N. St. Mary’s St..,

San Antonio Botanical Garden

The botanical garden fits all of Texas’ diverse ecosystems (and beyond) into 33 acres of wild and beautiful plant life. From the East Texas piney woods to Southwest deserts, visitors can take in all of the state’s outdoor

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Phil Hardberger Park

elements— and it’s not just easy on the eyes. The garden’s Watersaver Trail, Herb Garden, Biblical Garden and others all offer educational opportunities for visitors of all ages. Plus, the new Culinary Garden features cooking classes for everything from tapas to tea parties taught by chef Dave Terrazas. 555 Funston Pl.,

Phil Hardberger Park

Named after a former San Antonio mayor, Phil Hardberger Park has set the bar exceptionally high for the public parks in the city. Tucked within the Shavano Park neighborhood, this urban green space is home to meandering paved trails, BBQ spots, native wildlife, a colorful playground, and an extremely popular dog park. 13203 Blanco Road,

Pearsall Park

This 505-acre city park has just about everything you could think of: A disc golf course, expansive dog park, delightful public sculptures, a “fitness challenge zone,” skate park, playground, dozens of picnic areas, and a splash pool for kids. There’s something for every single member of the

family. Visit the Southwest San Antonio park (right next to Lackland Air Force Base) and choose your own adventure. 4700 Old Pearsall Road,

Chris Park

Yanaguana Garden

The playground at Yanaguana is the perfect spot to take your kids to on a sunny day: There are life-size chess and checker boards, a massive playground, and a splash pad for kids to jump around in and cool down. Plus, there’s a paleta shop, a coffee shop, a bar and a food truck now open in structures original to Hemisfair Park, in case you’re just looking to relax and peoplewatch. This central San Antonio spot is a must-see. 434 S. Alamo St.,

San Antonio Missions

River as Mission Concepción’s bells ring for Sunday mass. 6701 San Jose Drive,

The city’s most historic landmarks are more than just a casual “park,” but don’t let their serious facade trick you: These missions are meant to be enjoyed. Several of the city’s five missions include a playground and picnic area, and are ideal for families looking for both a history lesson and playdate. Wander along Mission San Juan Capistrano’s ancient outer wall, or sit by the San Antonio

This one-acre, private park, created in memory of its founder’s son, opens its gates to the public from Tuesday to Sunday. While small, there is plenty of space for an afternoon picnic, sustained silent reading, or a peaceful, zen-like stroll, and there are a few meaningful, contemporary art exhibits throughout the park to admire. 111 Camp St.,

Confluence Park

This brand-new park features an interactive learning space and colorful murals, and the unique architecture of the pavillion will surely become a local landmark in no time. Located on what was formerly a lot used by CPS for storage, the newly inaugurated park also encourages visitors to learn about environmental science and sustainability while enjoying the outdoors. The park offers easy access to hiking, biking and kayaking along the Mission Reach. 310 W. Mitchell St., • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 65

parks & rec

Get out TRAILS & WATERING HOLES OUTSIDE OF SA Pedernales Falls State Park

If you ever feeling like getting away from the city without actually going very far, San Antonio’s surrounding area has several destinations worthy of taking a day-trip to. Watering holes, rivers, caves, and trails are just a few things you’ll find outside of the city’s limits if you’re up for it. Grab your bathing suit, hiking shoes and a few friends, and start exploring what the rest of the state has to offer.

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Do it for the views: Climbing atop the massive, pink granite dome is equal parts challenging and rewarding once you make it to the top, where you’ll get to look out and see the beautiful scenery Central Texas has to offer. The natural area is only about an hour and a half outside of town, and the park features 11 miles of hiking trails. Rock climbers can also get their kicks, and four legged friends are welcome. enchanted-rock.

Guadalupe River State Park

With four miles of river access to the Guadalupe River, you may want to pack your swimsuit for this destination. The park also has 13 miles of hiking trails, and even some paths designated for horseback riding. It’s only an hour away, but there are campsites available if you’re looking for a longer escape. state-parks/guadalupe-river.

Jacob’s Well Natural Area

Less than an hour and a half away from the city center, Jacob’s Well features one of the most visually stunning (and popular) watering holes in Texas. If you’re brave, you can jump off a cliff to land in the watering hole— making for a great photo op, and a thrilling adventure. Be sure to book your spot in advance, since


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1 2 L I V E BA N D S P E R DAY Guadalupe River State Park

the watering hole is by reservation only. jacobswell.

Krause Springs

If you’re okay with venturing a little further out, this swimming hole is a little over 100 miles away— and the drive is well worth it. Plus, campers and RV’s are welcome. This privately owned park is lush and green with 32 natural springs scattered throughout, giving visitors rainforest vibes that make it easy to forget you’re still in Texas.

Kickapoo Cavern State Park

If you’re not easily spooked, this Cavern is a great place for you to explore what lies beneath the surface. It’s also a great place to view Mexican free-tailed bats up close, when they uniformly fly out in the evenings to search for food. Visitors can tour the park’s caves for $10 a person with a prior reservation. The park is almost three hours away, but campsites with water and electricity, as well as picnic spots, are available. kickapoo-cavern.







Pedernales Falls State Park

This park has something for everyone: easy access to the Pedernales river for swimming and tubing, a bird blind and a butterfly garden to spot pretty creatures, and trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. It’s about 90 minutes outside the city, and an ideal spot for the whole family to wind down and enjoy a quick getaway outdoors. pedernales-falls.

Lost Maples State Natural Area

For those who want to spend more than a day away, we recommend this camping spot to be able to soak in Lost Maples’ excellent stargazing. The area is a little less than two hours away, and is an ideal destination to visit in the fall, when temperatures are cooling down and the leaves start to fall. Plus, the 10 miles of steep and rugged terrain are perfect for hikers looking for a challenge. • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 67


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Música de




Antonio often gets overlooked as a hub for groundbreaking musical activity, at least partially owing to our proximity to Austin, a city that never ceases drawing accolades for its musical import. Nevertheless, SA has, from rock and roll to country, from tejano to pop, from soul to alternative rock stylings, and so much in between, consistently made its own indelible mark on music history and maintained a vibrant, truly unique scene. Here we have compiled, by way of reaffirming our status as a city of diverse and important musical threads, a list of some of the most iconic musical movers and shakers from throughout our (more or less) recent history.

Clockwise from top left: Santiago Jiménez Jr., Jim Cullum Jr., Augie Meyers, Rudy Tee Gonzales, Flaco Jiménez

Our considerations for inclusion on this illustrious list were simple, but strict: these are people that are from here and have gotten famous and have made significant musical contributions, whether breaking new ground or continuing in some great tradition (or both).

both recipients of NEA National Heritage Fellowships — fronting their own bands and lending their talents to projects that celebrate and explore the cultural and musical fusions that happen in SA like nowhere else.

Flaco Jiménez (born 1939) + Santiago Jiménez Jr. (born 1944)

Augie Meyers is a Texas icon par excellence, seeming to embody the worldwise and world-weary attitudes of his forebears in Texas outsider music. As a founding member of the Sir Douglas Quintet and the Texas Tornados, as a solo artist, and lending his keyboard/organ skills to a massive host of other artists (including Bob Dylan and Tom Waits), Meyers has cemented his iconic status and (most importantly) created his own gritty, uniquely Texan

The sons of conjunto pioneer Santiago Jiménez Sr., Flaco and Santiago have, in their long and storied careers, both continued their father’s legacy and cut their own unique paths. Those paths have found the two preternaturally gifted accordionists — the former a multiple-Grammy winner (including the Lifetime Achievement Award), the latter a National Medal of the Arts recipient, and

Augie Meyers (born 1940) • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 69


Clockwise from top left: Sunny Ozuna, Steve Earle, The Royal Jesters, Eva Ybarra, Doug Sahm

language with his instrument.

Rudy Tee Gonzales (born 1940)

Rudy Tee Gonzales, known as Rudy Tee and originally performing with his group Rudy & The Reno Bops, brought Westside soul to the masses with the modest hit “Cry, Cry.” He later had a hand in producing the smash hit “96 Tears,” by Question Mark and the Mysterians. His mastery of the classic rock and soul approach has left such a legacy that he’s recently been coaxed out of retirement and is performing can’t-miss shows with local surfrock outfit King Pelican.

Jim Cullum Jr. (born 1941)

Jim Cullum Jr., a man with jazz in his blood, whose father made his contributions to jazz music


via the Happy Jazz Band, has led the Jim Cullum Jazz Band for more than 50 years. Cullum and company have helped keep San Antonio’s jazz scene on the map, playing such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, even working for years on the faculty at the Stanford University Jazz Workshop. This renowned cornetist should make every SA jazz fan proud.

Sunny Ozuna (born 1943)

Sunny Ozuna, especially with his bands Sunny and the Sunglows and Sunny and the Sunliners, has made, and continues to accentuate, his mark on San Antonio’s musical spirit through his earthy and glorious Chicano soul/rustic R&B tunes. With a doo-wop swagger and a devastatingly

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charismatic presence, Ozuna, who enjoys regional adoration, is yet another entry on this list who reminds us that the roots of SA music, and by extension its lasting legacy, include soul and R&B right alongside some of the genres that might come more readily to mind.

Doug Sahm (1941-1999)

Doug Sahm was the roots-rockin’ dreamer and consummate individualist behind two of San Antonio’s most important, memorable, and representative acts: the Sir Douglas Quintet and the Texas Tornados (with Freddy Fender, Flaco Jiménez and Augie Myers). A personal favorite of Bob Dylan’s, a South Texas Music Walk of Fame honoree and a champion of the Tex-Mex sound, Sahm left behind timeless

music that transcends genre and cultural boundaries.

Eva Ybarra (born 1945)

Eva Ybarra, the singer, bandleader, accordion wiz, and conjunto legend often hailed as La Reina del Acordeón, was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship in 2017 for her contributions to the musical legacy of South Texas. As really the only widely recognized female conjunto accordionist and bandleader, Ybarra is a true trailblazer, bringing a fiery passion to her playing, writing and singing, all the while making technical genius at her instrument look exasperatingly natural.

Steve Earle (born 1955)

While Steve Earle, an outlaw country stalwart and acolyte of

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Clockwise from top left: Emilio Navaira, Patricia Vonne, Bubble Puppy, Chrysta Bell, Pat Green

the heady 1970s scene that saw Willie, Waylon, Townes and Jerry Jeff take that style of music to the masses, wasn’t born in San Antonio, we claim him because he did primarily grow up here. A gifted songwriter in the country/ roots-rock tradition, Earle has followed in the footsteps of his high-ridin’ heroes, writing in an honest if poetic style about life, releasing more than 15 studio albums and collaborations, pressing his fans to develop social awareness, and devoutly championing the work of those who came before him.

The Royal Jesters (formed late 1950s)

The Royal Jesters, one of San Antonio’s undersung gems, was one of the most important groups in the Westside soul scene of the 1960s and 1970s. With their own style, the perfect fusion of early rock and roll and soul, the Jesters charmed audiences and made being a sentimental cat seem like the hippest thing a guy could do. Check out the compilation Royal Jesters: English Oldies, out on Numero Group, and you’ll hear exactly why no list like this would be complete without this band.

Emilio Navaira (1962-2016)

Patricia Vonne (born 1969)

When you’re known the world over simply by your first name, like Emilio is, you know your legend status is cemented. Emilio the heartbreaker, Emilio the crooner with an ear for the key of sadness, Emilio (arguably) the tejano world’s biggest star (save Selena, whom we’d love to claim, but can’t), Emilio the hit factory didn’t so much invent the tejano template as perfect it. And, we’re damn proud to say the Grammy winner and straight-up national treasure is one of our own.

The sister of another famous San Antonian, director Robert Rodriguez, Patricia Vonne has left her mark on San Antonio’s musical heritage and become a worldwide star. Taking influence as much from her ancestral Spain as from the pop, rock, folk and regional styles (like tejano, Tex-Mex, conjunto, mariachi and more) she grew up surrounded by, Vonne isn’t one to play it safe or stick to a single formula. Her latest album, our favorite yet, is 2015’s Viva Bandolera.

Bubble Puppy (formed 1966)

One of the true contemporary stars in Texas country, Pat Green is from a generation of country artists that seemingly takes its cues more from Hank Williams Jr. than his legendary father. Green earned his cred in beer halls and honky-tonks, and released music to largely regional acclaim, before becoming a bonafide Nashville-approved star with his 2003 breakout hit “Wave on Wave.” Green splits the difference in his music between country balladry and, what he’s probably best at and most beloved for, party country.

While San Antonio was certainly a hub for psychedelic rock in its first and second waves, and the Sir Douglas Quintet gets lumped into that category to some extent, Bubble Puppy is the only proper, deep-dish psych-rock band from here that ever made serious national waves. Those waves were brief, though the crew has recently started gigging again, and centered around the band’s lone album, 1969’s A Gathering of Promises, and its hit single “Hot Smoke & Sasafrass.”

Pat Green (born 1972) • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 71


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Clockwise from top: Girl in a Coma, Nothing More, Butthole Surfers

awaited sequel to his TV masterpiece Twin Peaks, 2017’s spellbinding Twin Peaks: The Return.

Butthole Surfers (formed 1981)

Long before the band produced its only hit “Pepper,” on its seventh album, Butthole Surfers was the strange, escapist dream of Trinity University students Gibby Haynes and Paul Leary. Rooted in the absurd extremities of punk rock and experimental music, Butthole Surfers’ wild, schizophrenic music and unpredictable live shows have consistently pushed the envelope and won the act a cult following. The band hasn’t released an album since 2001’s widely disparaged Weird Revolution, but Butthole devotees may have new material to look forward to as early as this summer.

Chrysta Bell (born 1978)

Chrysta Bell, a multifaceted artist and international woman of mystery, has had major success as a singer-songwriter, an actor and a model. Her debut album, 2011’s This Train, as well as a follow-up EP, 2016’s Somewhere in the Nowhere, were both cowritten and produced by visionary director, zen madman, and all-arts dabbler David Lynch. Yes, that David Lynch. Bell is, at present, a favorite collaborator of Lynch’s, having also netted a key role in the long-

Girl in a Coma (formed early 2000s)

In its earliest days, playing house shows and later familiar venues around town, Girl in a Coma — the powerhouse pop-punk/ alt-rock trio of Nina Diaz, Phanie Diaz and Jenn Alva — won San Antonio’s heart, and it retains a tight grip. But, over the years, remaining true to its own vision of cathartic rock, the band has also garnered national acclaim from the likes of NPR, Spin, Rolling Stone, Dave Navarro and Joan Jett (whose

label the band is on) just to name a few. Plus, GIAC spawned the noteworthy side-project Fea, which finds Phanie and Jenn exploring their riot grrrl/Chicana punk roots.

Nothing More (formed 2003)

Nothing More are San Antone to the bone. But, like, 99.5 KISS San Antonio, not Flaco San Antonio. You dig? The young, musically ambitious alternative rock band that started out with humble gigs at Jack’s Patio Bar and the White Rabbit (R.I.P.) has been steady and workman-like in its approach to music over the past 15 years. And, with last year’s The Stories We Tell Ourselves, it finally paid off — big time. The group made us proud and earned its spot on this list with three Grammy nominations (including Best Rock Album and Best Rock Song) for the album. • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 73


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Alamo City Jazz History JJ LOPEZ



a local jazz club featuring a cookin’ combo playing to a diverse crowd of enthusiastic jazz fans is not a hard find these days in San Antonio. Between Luna uptown, Carmens de la Calle downtown, and the Pearl’s Jazz, TX, jazz is hot and plentiful. You might think this is a new trend in the Alamo City. But, you’d be surprised. San Antonio’s jazz club history goes back to the turn of the 20th century, to a time when territory bands from Kansas City to New Orleans filled the roadways. While many might remember the Eastwood Country Club as a hallmark of music history, there is another juke joint that led the way for jazz

(and much more) in San Antonio: Don Albert’s Keyhole Club. The original location at Pine and Iowa on the city’s Eastside was founded in 1944 by Louisiana native and jazz trumpeter Don Albert. Albert, born in New Orleans in 1908, made his way to Texas playing in regional bands, namely with San Antonian Troy Floyd as early as 1926. A 2012 transcript of Riverwalk Jazz with the Jim Cullum Jazz Band revealed that in the 1930s, you could have tuned in to WOAI to catch Don Albert & His Ten Pals, live! Adding to the club’s statewide notoriety, the Keyhole was featured in the 1947 film Juke Joint, directed by Spencer Williams. The musical landscape of the region was a hybrid of New Orleans jazz, big band and swing, R&B and Texas blues. In a 2013 essay titled “Talk to Me: The Story Of San

Antonio’s West Side Sound,” historian and soul collector Alex LaRotta wrote that bands traveling throughout the Southwest by way of the Chitlin’ Circuit made San Antonio a destination, largely due to Don’s Keyhole Club. Albert’s connection to jazz as a trumpet player provided him access to popular touring bands. It has been widely noted that Billy Eckstine, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Louis Jordan and His Orchestra, Sarah Vaughan, Slam Stewart and Louis Armstrong all performed at the original Keyhole Club. In addition to jazz bands, the Keyhole (open nightly for dancing), featured a wide variety of local acts. The original Keyhole Club closed in 1948. A second location was established in 1950 on Poplar street. Once again, Albert continued to bring legendary jazz players to • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 75


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the Keyhole Club, including Zoot Sims, Nat King Cole and Duke Ellington. Legendary Eastside saxophonist and resident musician in the Keyhole’s Wilmer Shakesnider Band, Spot Barnett shared with me that, “In 1955, [the Keyhole] was very nightclubish. What I mean by that is that it was strictly after hours. I was a college student then. We would get started at 10 p.m. and end at 3 or 4 a.m., so you know ….” Barnett’s sweet laughter lights up our conversation. “It was about half the size of the Eastwood Country Club and could hold a couple hundred people. The Keyhole was good music, good food, good service and a helluva show!”

The legendary talent that visited San Antonio and the Keyhole is enough to put Don Albert in the history books. There is no doubt that the club brought awareness to the city as a beacon of jazz throughout the Southwest. But there’s more to the story and more to Don Albert. Don Albert’s Keyhole Club was an integrated nightclub (unofficially). The social landscape of the Southwest in the 1940s and 1950s was still heavily segregated. Yet, by all accounts, the Keyhole was an exception — open to patrons from all walks of life. A civil lawsuit in the 1950s resulted in a win for Don Albert, who made sure the

club would continue its integrated policy until it closed. Today, it’s not uncommon for people to express with pride that San Antonio is a diverse and culturally mixed city. Our arts and creative community represent this diversity. A visit to a jazz club very much reflects this sense of inclusion, as do most bands and bandstands throughout the city. Here’s proof that San Antonio is and has always been a progressive city and not one on the rise, but well-established and already risen. It is a city where jazz has been thriving for decades. One need only look back to Don Albert and the Keyhole Club. • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 77



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our research of the best songs of the past 300 years, we quickly ran into the now obvious issue of actually finding recordings that date back farther than the 1930s. The earliest recording we could find, however, is a 1934 track titled “Mal Hombre,” by Lydia Mendoza, a tejano music legend who began her music career singing and playing guitar in the plazas of downtown San Antonio in the early 1930s. From the 1860s to the 1930s, these plazas became the heart of the city’s music scene. There, crowds of cattlemen, tourists and soldiers would gather and dine on chili con carne and other Mexican delicacies as musicians sang until sunrise. Two years after “Mal Hombre” was recorded, Robert Johnson would record the blues hit “Cross Road Blues” in the Gunter Hotel on November 23, 1936, further establishing San Antonio as a blues and jazz hub through the ’40s and ’50s. Chicano soul would gain popularity through the late ’50s and ’60s with bands like Sunny and the

OUR FAVORITE SONGS OF THE LAST 300 YEARS Sunliners and The Royal Jesters at the helm; psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll would emerge with artists like Bubble Puppy in the late ’60s; commercial tejano, norteño and conjunto would make an even bigger impact in the ’70s with the use of electric guitars and keyboards; and punk and metal would rule the ’80s and ’90s. The late ’90s and early 2000s saw the rise of nu-metal and metalcore in San Antonio while indie rock, folk and hip-hop began to carve their own spaces in the city through the mid-to-late aughts. Today, many communities make up the greater San Antonio music scene: from the jazz musicians that gig at places like Luna and Jazz, TX, to the experimental electronic noise artists and punk bands that showcase in living rooms at DIY house shows, to the hip-hop producers and MCs that throw down at Bottom Bracket Social Club, to the indie rock artists making their Paper Tiger debut. The San Antonio music scene holds a kaleidoscope of musical offerings, and chances are, you’ll find something you can tap your foot to.

Whether you’re a seasoned San Antonio music supporter or just now diving in, we’ve come up with a playlist that we think showcases some of the best tracks from each genre and era that we could find. This is by no means meant to be an all-encompassing playlist featuring everyone who ever put out a good song here. But it’s a place to start. Butthole Surfers: “Pepper” Ah, the 1990s. If you listen to alt-rock from that decade, there were hints of psychedelia sifting through the electric guitars and angsty vocals that made the era timeless. Butthole Surfers’ “Pepper” is the epitome of this and stands out as probably one of the biggest songs to come out of a San Antonio band. Sunny Ozuna: “Should I Take You Home” ▲ If you’re not familiar with Sunny Ozuna or Sunny and the Sunliners, it’s time you learn about one of the most, if not the most influential person in Chicano soul music. “Should I Take You Home” is the perfect way to dive into a catalog that might change your life. • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 79


Bubble Puppy: “Hot Smoke & Sasafrass” If opening up for The Who in ’68 isn’t good enough for you, we don’t know what is. With a new live studio record released just last year, which includes their psych rock classic “Hot Smoke & Sasafrass,” Bubble Puppy is a band that helped shape the psychedelic rock movement in Texas during the late ’60s — and continues today. The Krayolas: “Catherine” Merging Tex-Mex rock and ’60s pop reminiscent of bands like The Beatles and The Monkees, The Krayolas’ “Catherine” gives you an idea why this San Antonio band became a regional phenomenon. Third Root: “Justice or Else” The official theme song for the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March, Third Root’s “Justice or Else” is just one example of why this hip-hop trio is continuing to raise the bar for hip-hop in the region. Girl in a Coma: “Smart” Girl in a Coma is one of the bigger bands to blow up out


of San Antonio. The group’s “Smart” has slightly more postpunk vibe than the majority of their alt-rock catalog, but it showcases frontwoman Nina Diaz’s unique vocals and the trio’s diverse songwriting. Vetter Kids: “Down Goes the Teenage Hoodlum” Channeling first-wave emo in the vein of Mineral and Smashing Pumpkins, Vetter Kids’ “Down Goes the Teenage Hoodlum” reflects the trio’s ability to layer bass and guitar melodies and anguished vocal whispers that make you want to cry inside your journal in the best way. Tish Hinojosa: “La Llorona” Folk singer-songwriter Tish Hinojosa boasts a vast catalog of music worth checking out; however, there’s something about “La Llorona” that’s both alluring and mysterious. Lonely Horse: “And the Number 3” For just being two dudes, desert rock ‘n’ rollers Lonely Horse can turn up a live show and “And the Number 3” is a song that usually helps get it all started.

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Piñata Protest: “Life on the Border” ▲ Piñata Protest’s song “Life on The Border” explores Tex-Mex identity all while merging punk rock and Tex-Mex rock. Flaco Jiménez: “Ay Te Dejo en San Antonio” This is technically the song of Flaco’s father, Santiago Jiménez (one of the pioneers of conjunto music), but Flaco’s “Ay Te Dejo en San Antonio” won the younger Jiménez a Grammy in 1986 and can still be heard where tejano and conjunto is played. AMEA: “VayCay” A relative newcomer on the music scene, R&B singersongwriter and producer AMEA, short for Ayanna Moriah-Eliza Allen, grabbed our attention with her 2016 single “VayCay,” a mid-tempo jam that you can chill out to, cry, or dance around your apartment to. Dare we call it perfect? Lung Overcoat: “Voice in The Box” Formed in the 1980s and influenced by bands like Bauhaus, Lung Overcoat was SA’s

first glimpse at icy synth blasts and dark guitar notations of postpunk in an era where metal ruled all things. S. A. Slayer: “The Witch Must Burn” Known for touring through Texas as an opening act for Metallica on the Kill ’Em All album, S. A. Slayer was a staple in the metal community in the early ’80s, and this track was a banger. Doug Sahm: “It’s Gonna Be Easy” Doug Sahm, one of the most important figures in the TexMex music scene, was a country music child prodigy. He would eventually go on to co-found the Texas Tornados with heavy hitters Augie Meyers, Freddy Fender and Flaco Jiménez. Buttercup: “Henry B. Gonzalez” Opening for well-known acts like the late Elliott Smith and Willie Nelson, Buttercup was dubbed “jangly art rock for the left side of the brain” by NPR, and has been growing a steady fan base in San Antonio since its formation in 2004




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Hickoids: “Queen of the Bar-B-Q” The late ’80s and early ’90s were a weird time for America in general. Down here in South Texas, The Hickoids amplified that weirdness with their blend of rock and punk, which garnered them regional and national attention. Fearless Iranians from Hell: “Die for Allah” With lyrics written from the point of view of an Islamic extremist to mock the anti-Iranian sentiment that was prevalent in the U.S. at the time, this thrash-punk outfit was an important asset in the SA music community in the ’80s. Clifford Scott: “Honky Tonk” This tenor saxman was arguably most famous for his solo in Bill Doggett’s “Honky Tonk, Pt. 2,” but held his own through the years. Scott lived in Los Angeles in the ’60s and performed with folks like Little Richard, Ray Charles and Fats Domino, but returned to San Antonio in the ’70s and continued performing at local clubs and bars. The Sons of Hercules: “A Different Kind of Ugly” Frontman Frank Pugliese has been called San Antonio’s answer to Iggy Pop, and if you’ve seen The Sons of Hercules live, you would agree. For 28 years, these dudes have been rocking the regional music scene with their all-killer no-filler straight up rock ‘n’ roll.






FLAVOR MARCH 23, 2017 • 6-9 PM







FRIDAY, AUGUST 25 | 7 - 11 PM


The Royal Jesters: “Take Me for a Little While.” Another heavy hitter in the Chicano soul community in the ’60s, The Royal Jesters was a well-known group that helped define the sound of the soul scene. Vocab: “Floating Up” ▲ Andrea “Vocab” Sanderson’s voice, poetry, raps and work in the community have made this multifaceted artist a favorite since the late ’90s. Lydia Mendoza: “Mal Hombre” 1934 Lydia Mendoza’s “Mal Hombre” was the oldest piece of audio we could find from a San Antonio artist. If you can guess from the song title (“Bad Man”), the track is about a man, who at first treats her right and then, eventually, does not. Robert Johnson: “Cross Road Blues” 1936 Written in the Gunter Hotel in 1936, Robert Johnson’s “Cross Road Blues” was eventually inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame half a century later to acknowledge its quality and place in recording history.










Pump up the Volume



to San Antonio, friend! Like any big city you’ve lived in or traveled to, the live music scene here continues to grow and change offering a kaleidoscope of different genres of music from venues all across the Alamo City. From the Aztec Theatre morphing into a high-caliber venue that’s now booked by Live Nation’s House of Blues entertainment unit (which books acts like Marilyn Manson and Lauryn Hill) to the hard rock and metal staple the White Rabbit transmuting into Paper Tiger (which books a dope roster of indie bands spanning a multitude of genres), there’s pretty much a show every week for every musical taste in SA. Established in 1999, Sam’s Burger Joint (330 E. Grayson St.,,


hosts some the best folk and Americana acts rolling through town while serving up some pretty damn good burgers. A brisk stroll down Grayson and you’ll find yourself on the St. Mary’s Strip, the closest thing SA has to a live-music and entertainment district. First up is Hi-Tones (621 E. Dewey Pl.,, home to the amazing chamoy and pickle shots and host to a wide variety of bands that will be sure to get you dancing. Just up the street is The Amp Room (2407 N. St. Mary’s St., theamproom. com), which regularly features everything from EDM to neo soul and hard rock. You might even feel like you’re at the old Emo’s in Austin if you hop across the street to catch a show at Paper Tiger (2410 N. St. Mary’s St., as it books some of the best hip-hop, indie rock, and post-punk you can see in town. Unless you want all of that for free, in which case visit The Mix (2423 N.

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St. Mary’s St.,, the never-acover divey staple of SA rock, which is right across the street. Farther up the Strip sits Limelight (2718 N. St. Mary’s St.,, which offers an eclectic musical mix that many local and traveling acts love to hit up on account of their great sound system. Also peep the best taco truck on the strip, (El Regio #2) parked right next door to help soak up that Lone Star. A short walk north and you hit The Squeezebox (2806 N. St Mary’s St.,, a charming establishment with a vibe that appeals to industry folk, 20-somethings that appreciate a good DJ set, or anyone who loves good tejano, conjunto, cumbia or a random jam night with Santiago Jiménez (and if you don’t know who that is, try Googling “San Antonio” and “National Medal of Arts”). Barely a block away is La Botánica (2911 N. St. Mary’s St.,

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Clockwise from far left: Sam’s Burger Joint, Aztec Theater, The Rustic, Limelight, Faust Tavern, which has become a cherished safe space for LGBTQ and nonbinary San Antonians to sing, dance and play (also, their all-vegan menu is legit). Rounding out the Strip’s north end is Faust Tavern (517 E. Woodlawn Ave., thefausttavern), a charming and tiny dive that hosts a variety of bands and DJs. If you move west, sitting right off Ashby and Blanco is Web House (320 Blanco Road,, which often features music from club to trap to vaporwave, along with Russian brews and Eastern European food. The downtown area is now home to a number of particularly solid venues, such as the Aztec (104 N. St. Mary’s St.,, Majestic (224 E. Houston St.) and Empire theaters (226 N. St. Mary’s St.,, all of which book everything from Austin City Limits spillover bands to big-name classical,

pop and country performers. And now the massive Tobin Center for the Performing Arts (100 Auditorium Circle, tobincenter. org) hosts everything from Nas to Dolly Parton. Then moving toward downtown’s northern edge sits Ventura (1011 Avenue B,, one of the best, most un-pretentious establishments you’ll find along the sparkling Museum Reach that often hosts some of SA’s best homegrown talent. Finally, just a few blocks east of downtown is Alamo City Music Hall (1305 E. Houston St.,, where you’ll find some of the best R&B, hip-hop, metal and post-hardcore. Moving farther east, you’ll find the Carver Community Cultural Center (226 N. Hackberry St.). With emphasis on its African and African-American heritage, the Carver aims to celebrate cultural diversity by providing premier artistic presentations, community outreach activities, educational programs and amazing musical showcases.

Not to worry outer-Loopers! There are stellar options for anyone who wants to stay on the periphery. The Rustic just opened in September of 2017 and hosts a variety of country and Americana. One of the best places to catch live music outside of Loop 410 is 502 Bar (502 Embassy Oaks,, which boasts one of the better sound systems in town. Also outside the Loop is Fitzgerald’s Bar (437 McCarty Road, Suite 101,, where you might find a local hip-hop cypher session, some local alt-rock vets, or a singer-songwriter showcase, depending on the night. If the sound of banjo and acoustic guitar is more your thing and you wanna get real far outside the Loop, check out the inimitable Floore’s Country Store (14492 Old Bandera Road, Helotes, liveatfloores. com) – or, if you wanna venture even farther outside of town, ride up to New Braunfels’ iconic Gruene Hall (1281 Gruene Road, New Braunfels, for some of the best touring country and Americana this region has to offer. • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 83





9405 IH-35 @ THOUSAND OAKS | 657-9999 | 11827 HWY 281 N @ NAKOMA | 404-0011 84


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The New Cantina

LOCAL JOINTS ARE KEEPING THE TRADITION ALIVE WITH A TWIST ▶Bar America Once the city’s best jukebox, Bar America’s newest owners have taken the cantina concept and added modern fixtures — credit cards, liquor, brunch — and it works. Southtown’s Bar America is now in a new phase and we’re digging it. 723 S. Alamo St., (210) 223-1285, Frankly Diablos What better way to honor cantinas than with a full-blown lineup urban myth shots based on local folklore such as La Chancla made with pickle juice, chamoy, vodka and lime. Don’t miss the Midget Mansion, Donkey Lady, La Lechuza or dance with the Devil either. 1301 Roosevelt Ave., (210) 577-5900, El Luchador Honoring Mexican wrestlers, or luchadores, Roosevelt’s El Luchador features a luchador theme as executed by business partners Ricardo Briones, Jesse Campos, Vanessa Martinez and Billy Mendoza. Craft beer shares

the stage with domestics, crazy shot specials (menudo shots, anyone?), and weekly live trivia. 622 Roosevelt, (210) 272-0016, ▲Sanchos From one of the owners of The Cove, Sanchos has treated us to a lineup of Mexican beers, cold margaritas, and awesome bites. From the nachos to the tacos and everything in between, the bar keeps folks coming back with happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. daily. The view of downtown doesn’t hurt either. 628 Jackson St., (210) 320-1840, ▶The Squeezebox When it opened in 2016, Squeezebox filled a Salutesized hold in San Antonio’s heart in the middle of the St. Mary’s Strip and then some. It’s a go-to for shot and wash specials, dancing and hot cumbias, Conjunto, Tejano, and throwback jams Tuesday through Sunday. 2806 N. St. Mary’s St., (210) 314-8845, • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 85

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Dives We



There’s no way Betty Ford breaks the 5-foot mark. But that wee ma’am from West Texas has commanded the corner of Grayson and New Braunfels Avenue in front of Fort Sam for the past 31 years inside what Texas Monthly called one of eight great dives in the state as recently as December 2016. For the uninitiated, Betty’s Battalion sits on a sleepy strip center, and its exterior promises divey insides. But once inside, after your eyes adjust to the dimly lit space, there’s plenty to find inside this warm bar. All manners of military regalia can be


found, from sailor hats to T-shirts to banners and flags — even a parachute. Bamboo plants give way to faux rock lamps and oldschool neon beer signs. And the sweet smell that lingers? A Yankee Candle that burns of sugar and spice that Ford lights for la virgen de Guadalupe. But a cancer diagnosis and recovery later in recent years made Ford realize she needed a hand managing the 31-year-old beer haven. She turned to one of her regulars, Danny Delgado, for said help. Delgado’s name might sound familiar — and it should if you’ve partied anywhere along the St. Mary’s Strip within the last seven years. At 28, Delgado opened

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Hi-Tones and, with a slew of partners, he has since gone on to open Faust Tavern, La Botanica, Phantom Room (which should be making a comeback in the coming months), Lowcountry, The Squeezebox and the newly opened Con Safos at Yanaguana, there is no doubt about it — Delgado is a bar whisperer. For his partnership with Ford, Delgado’s bringing in Linda Ynclan and Laura Rocha, who formerly managed Phantom Room and Hi-Tones as partners. But aside from new faces, some reorganization of seating, and a possible paint job for the gazebo, the two biggest and perhaps only changes will be the addition of liquor and new hours.

“We’re bringing in liquor because Betty’s never had that,” Delgado says. “It’s new and that’s one of the biggest things that keeps people out.” “I remember when people down the hill used to come up here to drink and now from up the hill they’re going down because there’s liquor there,” Ford says. Mixed drinks will be available, and while Ynclan and Rocha know how to shake up cocktails, those won’t be making it to the menu any time soon. Ford will stick around during day shifts, and learn how to handle the new payment system. “It’s going to be a learning process for her, too,” Delgado says, as Ford quips, “I don’t know

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Timmy held in sweet embrace). And there’s free wi-fi. 603 Isom Road, (210) 341-9259.


anything about liquor!” Otherwise, Betty’s Battalion, which Ford leased for $250 a month in late 1985, will purposefully remain the same. The wall of fallen Special Ops personnel stays, so does the parachute, the rock lamps, the T-shirts, and the sailor caps. The bar will still cater to the military servicemen and women who have made it their home for the past 31 years. Ford opened Betty’s in the post-Vietnam War era with a vision and plenty of potential. Of course, patrons wanting to experience a bit of old-school San Antonio will make their way to Betty’s Battalion. They already have. But Delgado wants to hang

onto that San Anto feel. 1524 E. Grayson St., (210) 227-9255.


It might not look like a whole lot from the outside, but Cobalt Club’s lasting legacy might be how it cares for its patrons, i.e. everyone who gets off work late, those who want to keep drinking when the sun rises in the morning. A haven for hospital employees, this straight-friendly gay dive has staying power. 2022 McCullough Ave., (210) 251-2027.


If you’re into Hurricanes and kitschy tropical décor without a hint of pretentious tiki, you’ll want to head to Coco Beach. The

spot off Nakoma is decked out with a palm hut and strungup marlin above the door so you can’t miss it. Once inside, the “Port Aransas-fuckedSouth-Padre-and-this-is-theirlovechild” vibe persists. Get cozy in the indoor cabanas at your own risk. 12159 Valliant St., (210) 341-5330.


Practice your karaoke skills in one of the most welcoming of settings, this tiny nook of a bar that delivers wild comedy shows, great drink specials and chill vibes. This country-esque bar is filled to the gills with Texan sport memorabilia (including a painted scene of Spurs games with David Robinson and

If you’re fresh off the late shift, still going from the night before or in need of a morning fix, Make My Day Lounge might be your bar. Stop in early for a dark escape from the morning sun or head in during the evening when they host rowdy karaoke sessions. It’s a catch-all bar for anyone looking to satiate their thirst. 12144 Nacogdoches Road, 210-655-6367.


Neons and Lone Star in the heart of downtown: What more do you need? Visit 2016’s winner of Best Dive Bar for cheap drink specials, peanuts, chips and puro nostalgia. 121 Broadway, (210) 271-1058.


Settled in a tiny strip mall off Harry Wurzbach is the Thursty Turtle. Only a stone’s throw away from the Magic Time Machine, the Turtle presents itself as the perfect respite from the office, complete with billiards, couches for kicking back and friendly regulars. 1626 NE Loop 410, 210-820-3600. • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 87

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Antonio’s craft cocktail game has grown exponentially in the last few years. With the San Antonio Cocktail Conference (now in its eighth year) and more bartenders than ever shaking things up, you’re always close to your next shot of Cinzano. Cheers!

The Last Word Take a few steps down from Bohanan’s and land yourself at The Last Word. Bookish types and fans of cocktails in dimly lit settings will find refuge in this downstairs bar owned by Jeret Peña. 229 E. Houston St., Suite 10, (210) 314-1285,

Bohanan’s Bar Whet your whistle the high-brow way at Bohanan’s, where you’ll get a first-class view of The Majestic from your barstool and some of the best service in town. 219 E. Houston St., (210) 472-2600,

▲Juniper Tar Grab a cocktail named after famous, historic affairs at Juniper Tar, managed by Benjamin Krick, named one of San Antonio’s Rising Stars by StarChefs. The space is intimate, grown-up and fun. 244 W. Houston St., (210) 229-1833,

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Haunt The St. Anthony holds Haunt where cocktail themes veer into spooky specter territory inside a chic bar. Stop in for an aperitif before or digestif after dinner at Rebelle. 300 E. Travis St., (210) 352-3172, hauntsa. The Esquire Tavern If you’re hoping to soak in more San Antonio history, a visit to The Esquire Tavern is a must (and don’t miss out on Downstairs). Overlook the San Antonio River Walk while sipping on classic cocktails inside this historic bar that’s been nominated as a James Beard Foundation Award semifinalist twice. 155 E. Commerce St., (210) 222-2521, SoHo Wine & Martini Bar Rub elbows with tipsy tourists while sipping on fruity concoctions inside one of the city’s first cocktail joints. 214 W. Crockett St., (210) 444-1000, sohowineandmartinibar. ▲The Brooklynite Aside from downtown proper, there are plenty of area establishments that bring the cocktail quota up. Jeret Peña’s first solo bar, still packs in crowds for Tiki Tuesday and come weekends. 516 Brooklyn Ave., (210) 444-0707,

Lowcountry Patio pounders don’t come any better than at Lowcountry, a porch oasis for the downtown set that has a killer happy hour and occasional pop-ups by Swine House. 318 Martinez St., (210) 560-2224, Sternewirth Visit The Pearl’s boutique Hotel Emma, and sit inside former brew tanks that have been converted into posh seating. The menu changes seasonally. 136 E. Grayson St., (210) 223-7375, Blue Box While at Pearl, visit Blue Box for a serious happy hour. Or head there ahead of big games for free fare and drink specials. 312 Pearl Pkwy., (210) 227-2583,

a Möet Champagne dispenser for the ‘gram. 102 9th St., Suite 400, (210) 340-9880, La Roca The owners of Green Lantern bring you La Roca, a classy and laid-back bar with plenty of tequila to go around in a spacious bar setting. 416 8th St., TBA This industry-favorite bar finally scored signage. Expect chill, inexpensive and potent drinks here. 2801 N. St. Mary’s St., 210-320-1753, The Squeezebox Who knew cumbias and cocktails would blend so seamlessly? Try them both here. 2806 N. St. Mary’s St., Rumble Catch all the action on the St. Mary’s Strip from this bar’s patio while enjoying themed cocktails and more. 2410 N. St. Mary’s St., (210) 365-3246,

Ocho If you need less vests and more laid-back atmosphere head to Hotel Havana’s bar for a Martinique Punch and dazzling patio. 1015 Navarro St., (210) 222-2008, Paramour Spend your Sunday Funday at Paramour which packs in serious cocktails with lots of fun be it through their burlesque, boylesque, drag shows or tea takeovers. Oh, and there’s

Still Golden Social House The original Stay Golden may have been bulldozed this past summer, but no worries: The Boulevardier Group is reopening their patio concept with added sport bar vibes this spring. 1900 Broadway. • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 89

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Barbaro Wash down delicious pizzas at Barbaro with balanced cocktails and house-made sodas. 2620 McCullough Ave., (210) 3202261, Hot Joy Pair tiki-style cocktails with pan-Asian fare at Hot Joy. 1014 S. Alamo St., 210-368-9324, Francis Bogside Back after a fire and better than ever, this Southtown bar has been making dwellers happy with their pub menu by Chris Cook and quality cocktails by the staff. 803 S. St. Mary’s St., (210) 369-9192. Maverick Texas Brasserie The newly opened restaurant delivers great cocktails that pair seamlessly with the food


by chef Chris Carlson. 710 S. St. Mary’s St., (210) 973-6050, Cured Owned by James Beard Award Finalist Steven McHugh, this Pearl eatery is known for great charcuterie and an impressive and varied cocktail list. 306 Pearl Pkwy., Suite 101, (210) 314-3929, Botika Peruvian and Japanese fusion is available at Pearl’s latest eatery along with sake cocktails and more. 303 Pearl Pkwy., Suite 111, (210) 670-7684, ▲Jazz, TX Want cocktails and next-level jazz, salsa and country music? Find it at this downstairs bar owned by Brent “Doc” Watkins. 312 Pearl Pkwy., Building 6, (210) 332-9386,

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Chisme The St. Mary’s Strip gained an Empty Stomach Group eatery in 2016 with the addition of Chisme inside the former Teka Molino. The happy hour features the house marg and free chips and queso. 2403 N. St. Mary’s St., (210) 530-4236, George’s Keep Fancy a view? You’ll get one of the sprawling San Antonio landscape here, along with patio sippers. 17101 La Cantera Pkwy., (210) 310-3733, The Green Lantern Find this hidden bar under a bright green light bulb and use it for an intimate rendezvous. 20626 Stone Oak Pkwy., Suite 101, • San Antonio City Guide • CURRENT 91


Where Live



100 AUDITORIUM CIRCLE | 210.223.8624


Entertainment Lives in San Antonio

San Antonio Current – City Guide 2018  
San Antonio Current – City Guide 2018