Editor's note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the fast pace of San Antonio's restaurant and bar scene. We have you covered with our regular roundup of essential food news.
(Re)openings and (temporary) closings
Something big is coming to San Antonio’s Far West Side. According to Bexar County deed records, Costco Wholesale Corp acquired an approximately 17-acre lot in the area on January 19. As first reported by the San Antonio Express-News, the company is expected to build a new store and gas station, a project estimated to cost $15.2 million. According to November filings, construction on the new store will finish in July. Once completed, the new outpost will serve as the third San Antonio area location for the retail giant, with other Costco operations currently operating at 5611 UTSA Blvd. and 1201 N. Loop 1604 E.
After a nearly year-long hiatus, one of the Alamo City’s most beloved ramen restaurants is returning next month. Opened in March of 2015 by third-generation San Antonio restaurateur Kevin Chu, Nama Ramen has since earned accolades for its flavorful ramen and sushi offerings. Nama’s original dining room at 6565 Babcock Rd. has remained shuttered since March 2020 in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic with the operation pivoting to to-go service. This original location served its final meal on December 21, however, and now Chu’s operation is moving into new digs just a few steps down the road to 6526 Babcock Rd. The new outpost will include a larger dining and kitchen space from which Chu’s team will offer new entrees including fried rice plates with grilled protein options such as shrimp, beef, and chicken. According to David Elder at KSAT, the new establishment is set to open next week, though an official date has yet to be given by Chu.
Nearly a year since the virus’ touchdown in Texas, COVID-19 continues to plague local businesses. Following a positive diagnosis from one of its staff managers, staple Filipino restaurant, market, and bakery Sari-Sari announced on January 22 via Instagram that it would be shuttering for a period of two weeks. On January 25, Roadmap Brewing Co. also announced one of its employees had contracted the virus, and that the taproom would be temporarily closed as a result. Sari-Sari is set to reopen February 1, while Roadmap brewing will reopen for normal service on January 28.
Other news and notes
San Antonians know their city’s cuisine is nothing short of iconic, but never before has it has had its own dedicated Loteria game. Conceived by artist and photographer Tracey Maurer, the new Loteria De Comida project features 54 highly stylized canvas art images based upon various staples of Tex-Mex cuisine, including Los Tomatillos, Los Tamales, and La Barbacoa y Big Red. The game, which sells for $20 on Loteria de Comida’s online store, includes 54 playing cards, 10 tablas, instructions, and 54 colorful verses in English and Spanish. Also available are 16-by-25-inch canvas prints of the individual images, which run $150 each. Ten percent of all Loteria de Comida’s online store sales will be donated to local food banks.
The owner of a local pizza chain is asking for help in identifying the perpetrators behind a late-night robbery last weekend. Deco Pizzeria’s Medical Center location was broken into in the early hours of Sunday, January 24, resulting in damage to the storefront’s patio door and office and an undisclosed amount of money being stolen. Later that morning, owner Jacob Valenzuela posted what appears to be a CCTV video of the suspects getting into a white SUV. Valenzuela used the post to ask for help in identifying the vehicle. Despite the incident, Deco Pizzeria’s Medical Center shop is currently open for dine-in and carry-out service.
Still need to get around to that pesky New Year’s resolution? This staple Alamo City bakery has you covered. La Panadería has recently expanded its menu to include a new health-focused “Power Bowl” option. Each bowl features mixed greens, veggie-loaded rice, and pickled onions alongside a choice of protein and fresh-baked bread. La Panadería’s current power bowl lineup includes the avocado bowl; grilled chicken bowl; Hawaiano bowl (with grilled pineapple and pork chops); and a Mexicano Cubano bowl with bacon, Kielbasa sausage and ham. The new menu offerings are currently available for in-store and to-go purchase at both La Panaderia’s downtown and Broadway locations, and will available for online order starting February 1.