News you can eat

7 things to know in San Antonio food right now: Popular artist sculpts new Southtown bar

7 things to know in San Antonio food: Popular artist sculpts new bar

Hands Down San Antonio
Hand Down poured into Southtown February 11. Hands Down/Instagram

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.

Openings and closings

Southtown continues its boon with a pair of new concepts catering to the late-night crowd. On February 11, playful hangout Hands Down debuted at 1012 S. Presa St. with a hush-hush soft opening. The bar, a brick-and-mortar version of artist Amada Claire Miller’s popular pop-up series, features natural wine, an amari-heavy cocktail program, and a vibrant interior overflowing with art. Regular hours start February 16.

Around the corner, Taqueria Los Cuates snuck into the former Squeezers space at 732 S. Alamo St. on January 20, according to an employee. The counter-service concept comes from Erik Rosales, the entrepreneur behind nearby bars The Pipe Corner, Queso Pan y Vino, and The Back Room. The minimalist menu features al pastor tacos and wraps shaved to order on a trompo and spiced up with a quartet of salsas.

Meanwhile, Up Scale and Little Em’s Oyster Bar power couple Houston and Emily Carpenter spilled the beans on their first restaurant outside of Southtown. Restaurant Claudine, a New American eatery inspired by Houston’s grandmother, will arrive at 517 E. Grayson St. in Government Hill in spring 2023.

In the same week, Government Hill’s ever-changing scene suffered a surprising shutter. Via Instagram, Hello Paradise announced it would stop serving frozen drinks and Thai food on February 13. No reason was offered for the closure, but the post was later amended to give some hope. Boulevardier Group, the company behind the concept and across-the-street neighbor Three Star Bar, plans to collaborate on the space with a new partner.

The Alamo Heights building that once housed Picante Grill will soon be given new life. The Cottage Irish Pub has applied for a mixed beverage permit with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission at 3810 Broadway. Although it’s safe to assume whiskey and Guinness will be on tap, the watering hole has not yet established a web or social media presence.

Other news and notes

Two San Antonio brewers brought home medals in the annual Texas Craft Brewers Cup. At their annual meeting in Austin, the Texas Craft Brewers Guild revealed the big winners, including silver and bronze nods for Alamo Beer Company and a bronze medal for Freetail Brewing Company. Freetail also struck gold with its La Muerta in the Smoke and Chili Beer category.

French eatery Brasserie Mon Chou Chou is getting into the breakfast biz. On Instagram, the bustling Pearl destination announced it would begin serving morning meals from 7-9:30 am every weekday. The menu includes pastries, classic omelets, yogurt parfaits, and various egg dishes.