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Defending the First Amendment since 1911


NOVEMBER 15, 2012



San Marcos Stars

Tap Room Pub & Grub won the San Marcos Stars Best Burger award. Visit to see more.


Lolita’s Cafe

rants that reminded him of home cooking. It took Hernandez awhile before he tried Lolita’s. “It’s not exactly like home, but it’s the next best thing,” Hernandez said. Hernandez said Lolita’s deserves San Marcos Star because it is his favorite breakfast stop. “People are always here from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.,” Hernandez said. “It’s like a club.” Austin Beavers, Staff Photographer Carrillo said her busiest By Karen Zamora days are always Saturdays, News Reporter with her best-selling taco being the Lolita’s Special. The Lolita’s Special includes potaA small blue and red building with a line to, egg, beans, bacon and cheese wrapped of cars and pedestrians can be easily identi- into a homemade tortilla. fied as Lolita’s Cafe, a San Marcos breakKrysta Frank, Kyle resident, said she fast staple. does not mind the lines. Frank said she Since 2004, Lolita’s Cafe has won over travels to San Marcos every Saturday with the hungry stomachs of many San Marcos her family just for Lolita’s breakfast tacos. residents. The cafe has been recognized as “It’s been our Saturday ritual for the a San Marcos Star for the best breakfast ta- last couple of years,” Frank said. “When cos in town for the fourth consecutive year. we moved to Kyle, it was the one that we Marta Carrillo, owner of Lolita’s Cafe, couldn’t let go.” said winning San Marcos Star is a “big, big Carrillo said 70 percent of her customers gift.” Carrillo said seeing her customers ev- are regulars, visiting the location more than ery day is special to her. twice a week. Chris Hernandez, San Marcos resident, Carrillo said when she won last year sevsaid he has been a frequent patron of Lo- eral of her regulars brought in newspapers lita’s since transferring to Texas State in and told her they voted for her cafe. She 2008. Hernandez said when he first moved said that is something that has always made to San Marcos he tried several local restau- her happy.

BEST STEAKHOUSE Saltgrass Steakhouse By Nancy Young News Reporter Residents have voted Saltgrass Steak House as the best of its kind in the San Marcos Stars poll. Saltgrass, located at 211 Sessom Drive, has been in business for a little more than five years and is now thriving. With a casual attire atmosphere, customers can have their meal in the inside dining room or outside on the open patio seating overlooking the San Marcos River. According to the company’s website, the steakhouse recaptures the flavor of open campfires with their chargrilled steaks, chicken and seafood. Natalie Horton has been a trainer at Saltgrass for more than two years. As a trainer, Horton is a hostess as well as a waitress and bartender, and stocks the shelves behind the bar. Horton said she enjoys working for the company. “The staff here is all really cool, and the managers are all really nice too,” Horton said. “Everyone works together to make sure the atmosphere inside the restaurant is suitable for customers that come in.” Horton also added that Saltgrass is about quality over quantity, and the company be-

lieves in better food and superior customer service over making a little extra money. “We’re not a company that believes in turning over tables quickly,” Horton said. “Staff members usually have about three to four tables at a time. We don’t want to staff to have too many at one time. We want to make sure they take care of the customers.” Nic Hinton has been a bartender at the San Marcos establishment for about a year and a half but has been working with the company for more than seven years. “The bar isn’t always too crowded, but a lot of the customers like to sit on the patio and enjoy their drinks out there,” Hinton said. “The majority of our customers like to come during happy hour and enjoy a few drinks.” Milton and Karen Thompson , San Marcos residents, said they come to the steakhouse “every once and a while” to enjoy a nice steak dinner. “We come here a couple of times a year to have a good meal,” Karen Thompson said. “We really do enjoy the food here.” Milton Thompson mentioned that it was his birthday, and that he wanted to come to Saltgrass to enjoy a nice steak dinner. Saltgrass Steakhouse came in third place in the San Marcos Stars last year.


Rose Garden


Fuschak’s By Nora Riordan News Reporter

Family-owned and operated since 1966, Fuschak’s Pit Bar-B-Q was voted San Marcos Star for Best BBQ. Fuschak’s offers a variety of smoked barbeque, such as ribs, brisket, fajitas, sausage, chicken and smoked turkey, along with a number of sides. This restaurant also serves a daily buffet with numerous food options. Julie Fuschak, daughter of owner Morgan Fuschak, said she feels excited about winning Best BBQ. “This makes me feel really proud of my family and really proud of my dad for all of the work he has accomplished over the years,” Julie Fuschak said. “It is a good feeling.” Julie Fuschak said the establishment is the oldest family-owned restaurant in San Marcos. “We have been satisfying customers for decades now,” Julie Fuschak said. “It is just the best barbeque restaurant in Texas in my opinion.” The small, family business aspect of the restaurant is very important to Fuschak.

She said that is one of the ways Fuschak’s is set apart from the other barbeque restaurants. “More and more barbeque restaurants are starting to branch out into chains,” Julie Fuschak said. “We have remained local and loyal to our customers, (just) as they have remained for us.” Julie Fuschak recommended her ultimate favorite food from the menu, the “Bar burrito.” She said it is also one of the customers’ all time favorites. “The Bar burrito is kind of a favorite of mine,” Julie Fuschak said. “When I run into someone and they tell me they love Fuschak’s, they always tell me they are addicted to the Bar burrito.” The Bar burrito is a tortilla with brisket, refried beans, onions, cheese, hot sauce and barbeque sauce. Scott Davis, history freshman, is a satisfied customer of Fuschak’s Pit Bar-B-Q. Davis said he sometimes goes to Fuschak’s because he likes the homey atmosphere. “Fuschak’s Pit Bar-B-Q is a good, local barbeque restaurant,” Davis said. “I like going there because I like their brisket and barbeque sauce.”


Garcia’s By Sarah Stephens Trends Reporter

As soon as they walk into Garcia’s Mexican restaurant, customers can’t help but feel at home. The restaurant’s walls are filled with pictures that represent the Hispanic culture and festive music can usually be heard playing softly in the background from speakers. Salena Ybarra, the restaurant’s owner, opened Garcia’s twenty-three years ago in the fall of 1988 with the encouragement of family friends. It has since evolved into a favorite among students and residents who appreciate Garcia’s budget-friendly menu and fresh food. “Even though I’ve only been in San Marcos for a few months, Garcia’s has already become a staple for me,” said Katrina Bland, education freshman. “I find myself coming here all the time not just because of the awesome food, but because the staff is always so friendly and helpful.” Garcia’s menu offers an array of options ranging from traditional Mexican dishes like beef quesadillas, burritos and

tamales while also providing a list of American dishes for those who wish to try something they are more familiar with. “Everything we serve on the menu is homemade,” Ybarra said. “Our cooks use recipes that have been in my family for decades and were passed down from generation to generation.” Because of its success and positive reputation, Garcia’s has since been able to open up in six other locations that spread from San Marcos to Seguin. “I was very excited to be able to have the opportunity to extend the restaurant out across different parts of Texas,” Ybarra said. “I know that probably wouldn’t have been possible if Garcia’s didn’t have such great customers who spread the word about their great experiences from coming here.” Ybarra knows that college-aged students are some of her best customers, and she hopes that they will keep coming in flocks for many years to come. “My service to them makes me feel like their mother away from home,” Ybarra said. “I hope they continue to come and view Garcia’s as a place where they can always get a good home-style meal.”

Kristen Lefebvre, Staff Photographer

Rose Garden was voted best Asian restaurant in San Marcos. They offer a variety of Asian cuisine such as sesame chicken. Irma Delgado, interdisciplinary studies By Hannah Mills freshman, said she is a regular customer at News Reporter Rose Garden. “The staff is really great,” Delgado said. Rose Garden China Bistro offers a variety of Chinese cuisine and dishes at a price “They have good customer service and they ideal for Texas State students and San Mar- always give me three fortune cookies every cos residents. It has earned the Best Asian time I go there.” Restaurant honor in the San Marcos Stars Chen said the restaurant’s most popular poll. menu item is the sesame chicken. Another Manager Ellena Chen said she is “full of favorite among customers is the chicken excitement.” She is hoping the recognition and broccoli dish. as best Asian restaurant will bring Rose Delgado said Rose Garden has the “best Garden an increase in business from the chicken and broccoli in the world.” York students and citizens in the San Marcos said he always orders edamame and lemon area. Chen said all of the staff has worked chicken with a side of water chestnuts. very hard and is sure they feel just as thrilled Delgado said the restaurant is very deas she does. serving of the San Marcos Stars honor. Matthew York, music studies junior, said “That’s great that they won,” Delgado the service is the best thing about Rose Gar- said. “I am satisfied every time I eat here. den. It’s just overall a really good restaurant.” “They are really respectful and they are York said he is consistently satisfied with just nice people,” York said. the restaurant and its staff, prices and food. Upon entering the restaurant, customers “It’s better than other surrounding are immediately greeted by a welcoming restaurants,” York said. “They’re always staff who is quick to seat and assist them. on par.”

BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT Italian Garden By Randi Berkovsky Trends Reporter Italian Garden has been named the best Italian food in San Marcos for the fourth year in a row. The restaurant, located on 415 North LBJ Drive, was opened in 1999 by the parents of the current owner, John Zeneli, who has been running the restaurant for six years. It was opened to bring great food to the city and create a casual and affordable family setting for all to enjoy. “It feels so good to be named best in San Marcos,” Zeneli said. “I’m glad people like the food and the restaurant.” There is an array of the dishes at Italian Garden including the owner’s favorites: chicken and spinach cannelloni, chicken

parmesan and the always popular lasagna. The menu has plenty of options for Italian food lovers. “That place is great,” said Katie Dec, psychology junior. “My favorite dish is the classic spaghetti and meatballs. If you are craving Italian food, that is the place to go.” Italian Garden is also a place that allows BYOB, and the owner said he has all kinds of wine and bottle openers in the kitchen just waiting to be used. For those looking for a deal, Italian Garden accepts Bobcat Bucks. The restaurant also uses College Delivery so students and residents can have their favorites delivered to their doors. Hours of operation are Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

2 | Thursday November 15, 2012 | The University Star | San Marcos Stars



Discount Tire

Tanger Outlets By Odus Evbagharu Sports Reporter

Tanger Outlets were recently voted the best specialty store in San Marcos. Travis Gaither, management freshman and outlet customer, said the reason for the great success of the outlets is the fact that Tanger is made up of “quality” stores. “It doesn’t surprise me that the Tanger Outlets were voted the best specialty store,” Gaither said. “When a (mall) is made up of quality stores like Tanger, it’s hard to just pick one favorite store. I do like the outlets, but nothing beats the Nike store.” Nike has had famous athletes like Michael Jordan, Mia Hamm and Tiger Woods sport the famous swoosh icon to people worldwide. Nike employee Paige Lovett attributes their success to these athletes for making the brand famous and Nike’s ability to change with the times. “When I first got my start at Nike, I was amazed by the history it had,” Lovett said.

“Nike is very accomplished, and it feels great to be part of something special. Nike has a unique ability for bringing both the young and the old into their stores.” The Tanger Outlets are a great tourist site as well as place to shop. People from around the state, country and world come to visit the outlets because of how big and unique the stores are. Tanger has made a name for itself not only domestically but on the foreign front as well. “I recently visited my cousin in Austin, and he recommended that we go to this outlet mall,” said English visitor Peter Smith as he walked out of Fossil. “I have visited the other stores like Lacoste, Under Armor, Nike, and James Avery already and love the American quality of the product that is being sold out here.” The outlets are so beloved because they are all inclusive, Lovett said. “I know I only work for Nike, but the outlets are great and cater to everyone who needs something including students who are on a budget,” Lovett said.

By Nicole Barrios News Reporter Discount Tire has won the San Marcos Stars award for Best Auto Repair as voted for by residents. Located off south Interstate 35, Discount Tire serves San Marcos residents’ tire and safety needs. Discount Tire has been America’s largest independent tire dealer since 1960, and it is clear to the people of San Marcos it is the best tire dealer in town. Jesse Lee Kubica, manager of Discount Tire, said this is Discount Tire’s second win of the San Marcos Stars award. “(Winning the San Marcos Stars award) verifies what we strive to do all day, every day,” Kubica said. “Customer satisfaction is the most important and that just tells us that

Kathryn Parker, Staff Photographer

we’re on the right track, that we’re providing an unexpected experience for more customers which is what our goal is.” Kubica attributes Discount Tires’ success to “hiring great people.” Zack Murray, Texas State alumnus and Discount Tire employee, said working at Discount Tire is “fantastic.” “I have two degrees from Texas State, and I still sell tires,” Murray said. Murray said he has worked at Discount Tire for seven years. He said his co-workers and the working environment are exceptional. Murray said his favorite part about working at Discount Tire is being able to “help the general public” not just with their tire needs but with safety and other concerns. “I don’t just sell tires to people, but I’m a safety consultant so I get to help people out every way I can,” Murray said. “I love that.” Kubica said Discount Tire opened in San Marcos in June 2001, and has been in operation for 11 years. “(Being the manager) is extremely rewarding, working with young men and watching them grow and become professional businessmen,” Kubica said. “I kind of get to be, in my position, their second dad, which is very rewarding.”



Among San Marcos’ liquor lovers, those who seek class prefer Spec’s. In addition to its South Austin location, Spec’s owns Gabriel’s Wine and Spirits off Interstate 35 near the outlet mall. “I like good prices, but I also like a sales staff that’s knowledgeable about the products,” said Ana Juarez, 56-year-old San Marcos resident and associate professor of anthropology at Texas State. “I like it when they have tastings too.” Spec’s is armed with a wide selection of products and sales associates who are knowledgeable and strive for customer satisfaction, giving the chain a leg up on smaller retailers. However, one doesn’t have to be a king or

queen of the liquor world to shop at Spec’s and appreciate its quality. Those on a budget, like college students, can fulfill their needs without emptying wallets. “No college student is going to be a connoisseur. They’re looking for the cheapest prices,” said Aaron Rogers, graduate student. Spec’s offers its customers 10 percent off total purchases whenever they pay with cash or debit cards, helping keep wallets full for college students on a budget. Shoppers receive high-quality products to meet their specific plans, not whatever costs the most money. Whether one aims to satisfy taste, save money or try something new, Spec’s stands as San Marcos’ top choice of liquor providers.

Springtown Mall. Jim Harrison, a Florists’ Transworld Delivery master florist, designs the store’s floral arrangements and selects the products. “We purchase 1,000 roses a week,” Jim Harrison said. “They’re in almost all the arrangements.” “We have mainly college kids coming in and buying flowers,” Jack Harrison said. The brothers may call Texas home, but the company’s diverse arrangements of flowers

hail from around the world. Jack Harrison, Florists’ Transworld Delivery florist tech liaison, said the majority of the store’s products come from Central and South America. However, some of its plants, including the gerbera daisies, are grown in Texas. Whether for a holiday or other special occasion, San Marcos Flower Company can deliver floral orders to nearly any town in the world.

By Glen Tadych Trends Reporter

Shea Wendlandt, Staff Photographer

Beluchi Maduneme, accounting junior, works in the Reebok store at the Tanger Outlets.


San Marcos Flower Company By Jordan Gass-Poore’ Trends Reporter Everyday is spring inside San Marcos FlEvery day is spring inside San Marcos Flower Company, where bouquets of fresh floral arrangements and potted plants line the entryway of the store. Owners and brothers Jim and Jack Harrison have been serving the San Marcos area since October 1974, after purchasing the company from city resident Myrtle Smith. In 1963, Jim Harrison worked as a florist for Smith while attending Southwest Texas State College.

Jim Harrison said the experience working two years for Smith helped him understand the industry and made for a smooth transition when purchasing the store. The company reunited the Abilene natives, who had both spent time overseas in the U.S. Military. The brothers have seen the business and themselves change with the times, including the advent of computers and credit cards. San Marcos Flower Company, a Florists’ Transworld Delivery shop, moved from its original location off Cheatham Street around 1977 to Pat Garrison Street. It then moved in 1990 to its current location at

San Marcos Stars | The University Star | Thursday November 15, 2012 | 5




Wake the Dead

took a bite of the beloved burger. Gonzalez, psychology junior, said he comes to the Taproom for the atmosphere, and he feels the San Marcos Star award is well deserved. “I have to say they are indeed pretty damn good burgers,” Gonzalez said. “I haven’t been to another burger place that comes close.” Pape said since opening in 1994, the establishment has not changed much other than the addition of a back bar four years ago and a few new taps. Taproom hosts a number of beverage and food challenges including the Steven Granados, Staff Photographer “Around the World Car,” the “Century The Tap Room is known for their self-created burger called Club” and the “Chupacabra Chalthe Guacamole Queso Burger. lenge.” Prizes for completing these challenges include giveaways and beBy Natalie Berko ing put on a plaque in the restaurant. News Reporter Pape said no one has completed the Chupacabra Challenge, which consists of finishThe Taproom Pub & Grub located on The ing approximately seven lbs. of food in 45 Square has received the San Marcos Star minutes. The meal includes a full rack of award for “Best Burger” for the third year in ribs, a pounder burger with double meat and a row. all the fixings, two dozen nuclear wings, a Taproom manager Brazos Pape said he is basket of onion rings and a basket of french proud of the award, and thankful toward the fries. cooks who make the patties fresh every day. “If they do (finish the challenge), they can “They do all the work, I just take all of the claim to be the first person to ever finish the credit really,” Pape said. Chupacabra challenge,” Pape said. The Taproom menu offers nine different Gonzalez said the Taproom is a place that burger options, all available with a veggie everyone needs to go in San Marcos, just like patty substitution. the river or The Square. Pape said the “Guacamole Queso Burger” “It is just a good place to get a beer and is the favorite among customers. Anthony come with friends and enjoy good food,” Gonzalez said he agrees with Pape, as he Gonzalez said.

By Adrian Omar Ramirez News Reporter


Valentino’s By Lorenzo Almanza Sports Reporter

Residents of San Marcos have voted Valentino’s the best pizza restaurant in the area. Valentino’s, known for its buffet, is located on The Square. Since Valentino’s opening in the 1980s, the restaurant has striven to create a high quality atmosphere and food, said General Manager Richard Clower. Clower said Valentino’s is the oldest pizzeria in town and everything on the menu is made to order. Austin Beavers, Staff Photographer Texas State alumnus and Price Newell, mass communication senior, delivers a pizza to a regular customer Shaun Matu- table at Valentino’s Pizza. la said the freshness and taste of Valentino’s pizza is what Valentino’s also offers happy hour drink keeps him coming back. “The quality of the food is something specials every Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 6:30 that brings me to Valentino’s,” Matula said. p.m. The restaurant offers $3 pitchers and “It’s nothing corporate, and the way they daily draft beer. “Surprisingly our daily beer specials are make their food is something unique.” Clower said the way the food is prepared what attract customers, and it always seems is the main reason customers flock to their to bring in huge crowds,” Clower said. Valentino’s connects to its customrestaurant. He said the sauce and dough are made in-house and ingredients, such ers through many social media networks, as high quality provolone cheese, complete Clower said. The restaurant connects to the community through Facebook, Twitter the pizza’s unique flavor. The bacon ranch pizza is a customer fa- and other media outlets such as Bobcatvorite, Clower said. The pizza is comprised Fans and Study Break magazines. Clower of provolone cheese, bacon, tomatoes, Ital- said he hopes to reach out to more customian seasonings and ranch dressing. The ers through these sites and local media restaurant produces over 100 bacon ranch outlets. The Texas State Showdown is an annual pizzas a day, Clower said. “The bacon pizza is one of my favorites, event held on campus where various pizza and it is one the best combinations that chains such as Valentino’s and Gumby’s taste good overall,” Matula said. “It’s sim- compete on campus to promote their pizply awesome that Valentino’s was named zas to incoming Bobcats. “We plan to be ready next when it comes the best pizza in San Marcos. It’s simply to the Texas State showdown,” Clower said. true, and I couldn’t agree more.”

When Yuliya Melnikova and Lauren Hickman, math education doctoral students, heard Wake the Dead Coffee House had been voted the best coffee shop in San Marcos, neither said they were surprised. “It’s a really good place to hang out. The coffee is good. There’s a laid back environment, and there’s quirky decor,” Melnikova said. Hickman and Melnikova first frequented the shop in fall 2011, when they started attending Texas State. “We haven’t found another coffee shop worth going to,” Melnikova said. Melnikova enjoys Wake the Dead’s hot teas, as well as their dark chocolate mocha, which she said is great both iced and hot. Along with a large number of coffee and tea drinks, Wake the Dead offers a wide selection of beers, with a menu boasting over 50 varieties as well as six different wines. For those who may have an appetite beyond the drink menu, Wake the Dead serves food, including daily soups. “Almost every time I come here, and sometimes it’s three times a week, they almost always have a different soup, and it’s always delicious,” Melnikova said. “Whatever I get is always good.” Wake the Dead provides occasional entertainment for those who want John Casares, Staff Photographer something more Michael D. White, geography sophomore, prepares a drink for Ashley Armthan food and strong, education sophomore, and Chelsea Agee, theater sophomore, at Wake drink. This enter- the Dead Coffeehouse.


Alvin Ord’s Odus Evbagharu Sports Reporter

San Marcos residents voted Alvin Ord’s as the best sandwich spot in town. Iris Martin, Alvin Ord’s manager, attributes the store’s success to the freshness of the ingredients and how the sandwiches are made. Martin said they bake and slice the breads, slice the vegetables and shred the cheese every morning. “We try to give the customer an excellent product with a fresh sandwich,” Martin said. “Everything we do is fresh. It helps that we try to make the sandwich made to order and as fresh as possible.” Jeremy Leonhardt, accounting sophomore, raved about the sandwiches being sold at Alvin Ord’s and the customer service he received at the sub shop. “When you first walk in, it’s like a very homey place that everyone goes to for the quality of service and sandwich,” Leonhardt said. “The people behind the counter are very relaxed and ready to help you with anything you need. The one thing that impresses me is that they help with a smile every time I go there.” Martin said an affordable price for college students helps out the store’s credibility when trying to help customers on a daily basis. “The university has been a godsend to


Cajun Cruiser By Lorenzo Almanza Sports Reporter

Cajun Cruiser has gone from anonymity to being voted the best trailer hitch dining in San Marcos in eight months. The Cajun Cruiser came to San Marcos on April 1 and has been expanding ever since. This award-winning trailer came to San Marcos after owner Jon White decided he wanted to prepare Cajun food for the community. “I’m 26 years old and knew that I had worked long enough for me to start my own business,” White said. “I want to start my own thing because I knew that the San Marcos community did not have any Cajun food around town.” Cajun Cruiser began at Mimi’s Trailer Park and moved to the parking lot of Fuschak’s BBQ. White said he hopes to take its food to the next level. Starting next month, the trailer will be serving its food at Bobcat Nation Sports Bar and Grill. “I recently signed an offer with a new bar and grill,” White said. “I am moving my food to Bobcat Nation. I will be the executive chef for this restaurant and plan to take trailer dining to the next level.” Cajun Cruiser offers a variety of Cajun dishes from fried shrimp to catfish and gumbo. Their signature entrees are the gumbo and po’ boys, White said. White said he believes it is the timing and quality of the food that distinguishes Cajun Cruiser from other trailer hitch dining. “It is the quality of ingredients put into the food and time spent on it that

tainment includes live shows, belly dancing and even visits from a local masseuse. The shop is known for hosting events for holidays, such as a recent jack-o’-lantern carving contest. Melnikova said the employees at Wake the Dead give her a “homey” feel when she dines there. “I’ve been to the other coffee shops and I like them, but this is the one I keep coming back to,” Melnikova said. “The baristas know me by name and ask about my day. It’s a personal thing I don’t get at other places.” For Hickman, Wake the Dead’s appeal is all about its atmosphere. “It’s really relaxed here, and it’s a nice place to study,” Hickman said. “I can see why people would want to come here.” Hickman said Wake the Dead’s patio makes it a great alternative to the busier areas of San Marcos. “It’s like a little escape from the city,” Hickman said. “Even the other places with outdoor areas are right on the street. Here it’s tucked away.”

bring customers,” White said. “Here at Cajun Cruiser, we make everything from scratch, and it is timed so it’s a quick in-and-out process.” The Cajun Cruiser is currently open Tuesday through Friday for lunch at 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and later for dinner from 5 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The trailer is also open Saturday until 10:30 p.m., and Monday from 11:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. “I feel very honored and humbled to have this title presented to me,” White said. “With the short amount of time I’ve been here, and the small window of opportunities I’ve been given, I could not have been any more excited.”

us,” Martin said. “I think the students know by our prices that we’re not out there to just make money but help out college students that have to work on a budget. We just want to make a good product for a school and a community that has supported us over the years.” Students at Texas State can appreciate the variety and uniqueness Alvin Ord’s has to offer. Heather Warnock, psychology junior, said she loves taking people visiting the area for the first time to the sandwich shop. “I love Alvin Ord’s so much,” Warnock said. “I love taking people there. It’s where I take people who are visiting from out of town because it’s so unique to San Marcos. It has so much variety and is an inexpensive place to grab lunch or dinner.”

Austin Humphreys, Photo Editor

4 | Thursday November 15, 2012 | The University Star | San Marcos Stars

BEST MUSIC VENUE Cheatham Street Warehouse By Samuel Rubbelke Sports Reporter

John Casares, staff photographer

Cheatham Street Warehouse, voted best music venue in San Marcos, showcases live country music.

Kent Finlay made a dream into a reality in June 1974 when he first opened the now legendary honky-tonk Cheatham Street Warehouse. The music venue has helped kick-start the careers of music legends George Strait and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Finlay bought his first guitar during freshman year of high school and began writing songs. He moved to San Marcos in 1959 and attended Southwest Texas College. Finlay earned his bachelor’s degree in English and later got a master’s in education. Finlay leased a run-down warehouse along the railroad tracks on Cheatham Street with his business partner Jim Cunningham and brought a new era of music to the City of San Marcos. Finlay’s vision was to nurture the progressive country movement. Finlay said he desired to provide young singer-songwriters with the opportunity to exhibit their talent and work. The small stage tucked in the back has introduced numerous musicians who helped mold the rise of the progressive




Harper’s Public House By Lorenzo Almanza Sports Reporter When it comes to a night out with friends for drinks and a good atmosphere, residents voted Harper’s Public House as the best nightlife attraction. Located on The Square, Harper’s boasts a jukebox, five widescreen televisions and three bars combined into one building. “With Harper’s you have three bars. You have the sports bar downstairs, then you have a second story bar called Slackers, and you have our newest addition, the Veranda,” said Harper’s general manager Shaun Neal. “No other place in town has three bars in one.” Neal said the bars are alumni owned and are open to anybody 21 and up. Harper’s has a variety of drinks ranging from regular draft beer to margaritas and a mixture of tequila. Every Monday and Tuesday they have $2.50 well and domestic drinks. On Friday and Saturday Harper’s offers $3.50 bomb shots. “We have all kinds of shots, margaritas of your choice and of course, as I mentioned earlier, three bars in one,” Neal said. Thursday, Friday and Saturday are the

country movement in Central Texas. Casey Monahan, director of the Texas Music Office, said the warehouse has played a pivotal role in commercializing new country music in Central Texas, according to the Cheatham Street website. Monahan said young artists at Cheatham Street are provided with an enthusiastic crowd, a historic stage and advice from Finley. The warehouse has introduced local acts and talent such as the Randy Rogers Band to the music community. Finlay said he started a non-profit organization called Cheatham Street Music Foundation, which was devoted to promoting, continuing and preserving Texas country music. The foundation is predominantly involved in all nuances of songwriting. The objective was to encourage the development of education in songwriting by directing classes, workshops, seminars, public lectures and concerts for young inspiring musicians. Interaction between musicians, writers and management at the warehouse has given a deeper appreciation for San Marcos music to audiences for more than 50 years.

busiest times of the week for Harper’s, Neal said. “With the newest addition of the Veranda, the place gets packed around 11 or 11:30,” Neal said. “We get a good crowd. Thursday, Friday and Saturday are the days of the week that never seem to disappoint us.” There are many qualities that make Harper’s different from other bars, but service is what makes Harper’s unique. “As a company we depend on service,” Neal said. “We usually have 12 bartenders to maintain our customers’ needs and satisfactions. We want to have successful communication between us and our customers.” Neal said he believes the bar has the right supplies for the job. “We’ve mastered the necessities needed to run a bar,” Neal said. “We’ve been No. 1 for a while now, and that’s our main goal going forward. We have three different themes and a tap that maintains the three different bars, and we feel this is a good thing to have.” Harper’s is growing around the area and expanding to connect to San Marcos residents, Neal said. “We have the best view in town,” Neal said. “Everyone seems to enjoy it.”

By Amy Greene Trends Reporter Zelicks was voted a San Marcos Star again, this time for its happy hour. Zelicks offers a casual environment where patrons can play one of the various assorted games, socialize with friends, enjoy a cold brew or even catch some sun on the patio. Patrick Vernor, mass communications junior, said he thinks Zelicks is the best bar in San Marcos because of the drink specials and the types of beer served. “They have the best beer selection I’ve ever seen,” Patrick Vernor said. “The Texas beers are what I like. S,That is why I come here.” Sean Vernor, education sophomore, said he learned about Zelicks from his twin brother. He said he prefers more of a relaxed atmosphere versus a club, and Zelicks is the perfect place for him. “We played pool and washers,” Sean

Vernor said. “It’s really open and a chill place to be.” Sara Palmer, radiation therapy senior, said she learned about Zelicks when she attended a Thursday bike night hosted by the bar and now visits on a regular basis. She said Friday is one of her favorite days to visit Zelicks because it has a secret beer on tap. She said Zelicks is one of the only places in San Marcos that can offer her a taste of home,. The reason is literally— – it serves a beer from her hometown, Kansas City, Mo. Meghan Maurer, communication design senior, said she too enjoys the laid-back atmosphere and spends time at Zelicks on a regular basis. Maurer said she enjoys the rotating beers on tap. “Their bottled beer selection is really extensive compared to a lot of places in town,” Maurer said. “They don’t stick to one little thing, which is fun, and it helps you try new things.”


Mystic Marks

Mystic Marks was awarded the Best Tattoo Parlor in San Marcos for 2012 San Marcos Stars. Owner Corey Van Zandt said he is proud he runs the oldest tattoo shop and first bodypiercing establishment in San Marcos. “Doing good work is the key,” Zandt said. “If you don’t do good work, you’re not going to make it far in this industry at all. We’ve been here 20 years and that’s because we do good work.” Janis Elaine Van Zandt, Corey’s mother and founder of Mystic Marks, graduated from Southwest Texas University with a bachelors in secondary education. When she died on Sept. 29, Van Zandt decided to continue the business. “The shop was founded by my mom, who was an art teacher in Gonzalez for many years,” Van Zandt said. “She moved on to this town and her art kind of took over. I learned along while she was doing it.” Van Zandt said the shop has moved three times over the years. The tattoo parlor has been in its current location for 12 years, he said. “After she passed on, I decided I wanted to continue this, keep going on her legacy,” Van Zandt said. “Keep making it the best it can be. It makes us happy to know our work is being noticed.” Van Zandt said tattooing is a way in which people can express themselves, mark a milestone in their lives or remember a deceased

loved one in a form of body decoration. The Mystic Marks staff has done everything from the conventional to a dog riding a flamingo. “The taboos are breaking down, people aren’t as freaked out about (tattoos),” Van Zandt said. “A person used to be an out-cast if they had a tattoo.” Psychology freshman Hang Pham said she was new to tattoos when she first visited Mystic Marks. She said the experience was a good one. “After he was done, Jeremy (my tattoo artist) was very detailed on care and procedures of how I should take after getting my lion (tattoo),” Pham said. “Pretty much all of my tattoos and pricings have come from Mystic Marks.”

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Rhea’s Ice Cream Ortamond went on to point out what makes her frozen desserts stand apart from others in town is how she likes to try original recipes. “It’s all homemade, and I try to keep the flavors interesting. I make all of our ice cream (from scratch) and I like to try and freak people out with the new flavors,” she said. “It makes it worth it when I see how surprised people are at how good the flavors are.” Those flavors, like caramel sea salt, pumpkin and coffee, avocado coconut, Big Red and banana pudding, are some of those “experimental” flavors Ortamond mentioned. As the owner, founder and sole employee of Rhea’s Ice Cream, Ortamond hopes to continue the pace her small business has kept the last few years. She is anticipating the construction in front of Rhea’s to be over soon. “I like all of my customers, and I hope to bring them good ice cream and smiles every time they come in,” Ortamond said.

By Xander Peters Trends Reporter Some people doubted Rhea Ortamond when she first approached the idea of opening an ice cream parlor in San Marcos. Ortamond, owner of Rhea’s Ice Cream, first mentioned her idea of establishing the shop about three years ago. Vickie Burns, Ortamond’s mother, said their family was not very supportive in the beginning. “It wasn’t until after she had got everything underway before we really got on board with the project,” Burns said. “I know she has worked really hard and has done very well for herself, but we all just kind of laughed before she got serious and found a place.” Since opening the parlor’s doors in January 2010, Ortamond has seen the high and low points of local business in town. Such lows include the slump in between semesters when not as many students are hanging around town, she said. Carlos Valdez, Assistant Photo Editor

Rhea Ortamond, owner of Rhea’s Ice Cream, sells homemade ice cream in unique flavors such as caramel sea salt, circus animal cookie, Big Red and more.



Monroe Hair Salon

Emerald’s By Megan Carthel News Reporter

In the middle of construction on North LBJ Drive sits Emerald’s boutique, which consistently attracts a steady stream of San Marcos shoppers. Tamara Woehl, Emerald’s employee for more than a year, said she is excited and believes it’s “really cool” that Emerald’s received the San Marcos Star award for best boutique. Mark Alman, owner of Emerald’s, said it is important for the store to support its community and receive a positive response from its customers. “We feel like we are serving our purpose, which is to make a contribution to our community,” Alman said. “That’s always a good feeling.” Woehl believes the store is successful because of the variety of merchandise Emerald’s carries, and its unique, “homey” feeling. Woehl said while girls

shop there are things for their boyfriends to do, such as sitting on the couch and playing with the funky trinkets around Emerald’s. Alman said Emerald’s is unique because the store’s face is always changing. With no formal method to success, Alman says Emerald’s just “does what they do” and people love it. Alman said running a boutique in today’s fashion world is like being an artist. “I don’t think we’ll be the same store in five years from now that we are today,” Alman said. “When you come from your heart, you know you’re doing what you want to be doing. We just do what we do.” Woehl runs the photography and social media for the store, and said winning the award means a lot to her. Woehl said she has tried hard to help get the Emerald’s name known in San Marcos. Winning the San Marcos Star award means Woehl’s hard work has paid off, she said.

The spotlight is shining on Monroe Hair Salon as voters crowned it the Best Hair Salon in San Marcos. Monroe Hair Salon was established in 2009 by owner Lanna Welch, achieving her dream after working as a stylist five years prior to its opening. Welch expressed gratitude in her business being recommended and voted Best Hair Salon. “We try to cater to Texas State as well as communicate and build friendships with our clients,” she said. Welch has been working as a stylist for quite some time. She has always wanted to own a hair salon. Her talent was evident as she placed second in the Redken National Holiday Style competition. For the past three years, Welch has been known for being the sponsor and the personal hairstylist of Miss Texas United States. “Here we care about the integrity,”

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Root Cellar Cafe By Paige Lambert Trends Reporter Cozy little tables with a bouquet of fresh flowers stand in every corner of the Root Cellar Cafe. Vibrant paintings don every wall, catching the eyes of patrons. All the while, the aroma of fresh ingredients and savory dishes fills the intimate atmosphere. This is the environment of the Root Cellar Cafe and Brewery, picked as the best date spot in San Marcos. The Root Cellar was established in 2005. It serves families, college kids and San Marcos citizens of all sorts. It is specifically known as a good date spot. Megan Schey said she always walked past it, wondering what the little cafe was like. Only a few weekends ago she and her boyfriend visited for a date. “It’s (a) really down-to-earth place, almost like a European side restaurant,” said Schey, psychology freshman. “They seated us immediately, and the food was really yummy. I’m so glad we stopped in

and found a new date spot.” Schey had a twist on penne pesto pasta, while her date dove into a steak, which he called “the best steak ever.” The recipes are all unique to the Root Cellar. All dishes and brewed drinks are created from scratch. For example, cooks batter and bake potato wedges instead of pulling out a frozen bag and deep-frying them. Jayme Starrak, manager of the Root Cellar, said the staff looks for those first dates or anniversaries, tailoring the service to make it an enjoyable night for the couple. “If we can tell it’s a first date, we let them do all the talking. If it’s, say, a matured relationship, then we know they’ll want some entertainment,” Starrak said. “Most of us who work here are romantics, and we want people to have the best experience possible.” To make the date even more special, Starrak suggested patrons make reservations. While it’s not required, it does start the date right. “Doing so will take the small waiting time out of the picture.

Welch said. “This is my form of art. This is how we express our creativity.” The salon offers a wide variety of hair products aside from styling. “It is always fun to make our clients feel better about themselves and bring out what they want with their hair,” Welch said. The Monroe Hair Salon provides services ranging from standard haircuts, coloring, styling, waxing and even tanning, emphasizing the importance of customer satisfaction while providing a laid-back atmosphere for clients. Crystal Yeatts, public relations junior, praised the salon’s performance. “The stylist took some time with the consultation to make sure we both knew what I wanted to achieve, and she stuck to it,” Yeatts said. “She worked very hard (and) did an amazing job even though I kept her late with everything I wanted done. She was very honest, upfront and respectful. And after everything, the price ended up being way less than I initially expected. I’ll definitely be returning.”

Mark A. Alvarez Trends Reporter

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Plus, you’ll be showing your date you planned it out. Making the girl feel special is key,” Starrak said. “Also, go all out. We always have deals on our Facebook page to bring the price down. So go ahead, wine and dine her.” The combination of freshly cooked food, an intimate atmosphere and customized service has led to many questions popping up over the years, including the one most ladies are dying to hear. “We’ve had about two handfuls of engagements over the years,” Starrak said. “Sometimes they’re big and elaborate plans, or we’ll walk to their table and notice a ring that wasn’t there before. Sometimes people will ask us to help stage something, and we do everything possible to make it happen.” In one engagement setup, a gentleman asked to buy an end table. After further intrigue, the man revealed it was the table where he and his soon-to-be-fiancee had their first date. The restaurant let him buy it and helped stage the question. And, of course, the answer was yes.

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11 15 2012 Section B  
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