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
Last week brought some troubling news for fans of comically over-the-top donut-burger hybrids. On May 6, per Texas Western Bankruptcy Court Documents, Austin-based dessert/burger chain Gourdough's Public House filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on its River Walk location at 215 Losoya St. According to the San Antonio Business Journal, the restaurant — which opened in March 2019, over a year after the concept was first announced — reported $50,000 or less in assets and between $1 million and $10 million in liabilities. No word yet if the San Antonio location’s popular Selena tribute dessert, the purple-glazed “Bidi Bidi Bon Bon” doughnut, will be made available at either of the company’s two still operational Austin locations.
Amidst an ongoing battle with Lymphoma, restaurant owner and chef Mike Nguyen announced on May 13 the indefinite closure of his Northwest Side ramen outpost, Noodle Tree. Earlier this month, Nguyen appeared on CNN to discuss his decision to remain closed to dine-in service due to customer safety concerns, as well as the loss of his grandmother to COVID-19. The restaurateur told the San Antonio Current last week that the length of his Taiwanese eatery’s shuttering “depends on how [his] body reacts to everything."
Cervecería Chapultepec, a popular Mexican fast-food chain known for serving regional seafood fare like aguachile, ceviche and shrimp tostadas, plus burgers and po'boys — all for one fixed-price — will open its first U.S. location in San Antonio. While an opening date has yet to be announced, San Antonio Express-News reports the chain will move into restaurateur Tim Rattray’s recently shuttered southern comfort style eatery Fontaine’s at 906 E. Elmira St. following unspecified renovations and “the addition of a covered patio”.
Other news and notes
COVID-19 related closures and slowdowns at area meat packing plants are forcing some local eateries and retailers to add a “COVID surcharge” to customer’s bills. News4SanAntonio reports that Mexican restaurant chain Chacho’s added a temporary 20 percent surcharge on meat items, while barbecue chain Bill Miller BBQ has added a $1 fee to every quarter-pound of brisket sold. H-E-B, meanwhile, has continued to limit the number of meat products a customer may purchase in a single trip.
Throughout the ongoing pandemic, Alamo City restaurateurs have found ways to give back to their communities ... San Antonio style. This past Cinco de Mayo, the owners of Holy Smoke BBQ and Taquitos and Wiatrek’s Meat Market teamed up to give away 15,000 free barbecue tacos out of music venue Paper Tiger.
Also on May 5, local food influencer Chris Flores, aka Eatmigos, partnered with chef Leo Davila of the Chinese/Mexican fusion pop-up Catch The Wave to provide 100 breakfast tacos to Medical Center Pavilion nursing staff. Flores tells CultureMap that after the success of their breakfast operation, the duo are now considering a larger dinner donation featuring Davila's brisket fried rice. Flores says parties interested in contributing food resources, monetary donations or volunteer support to this operation can reach out to him directly via his Instagram page.