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6 things to know in San Antonio food right now: Charming downtown café unexpectedly closes

6 things to know in San Antonio food: Charming downtown café closes

Willa San Antonio
Willa suddenly and permanently closed its downtown cafe October 20. Willa/Facebook

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

Locally sourced brunch and lunch spot Willa has hung up its apron. The charming restaurant took over the former Pharm Table space downtown in April, serving breakfast favorites, sandwiches, and salads. On October 10, the concept took to Instagram to announce a temporary hiatus so chef-owner Richard Busker could take a family vacation. Although the restaurant was supposed to have reopened, an October 20 post sadly announced that the shutter would be for good.

Is there such a thing as too many tacos in San Antonio? Not if you ask Smoke Shack alum Paul Morales. The chef will debut his food truck Tacos Cucuy on October 30 at Folklores Coffee House in Government Hill. The menu is based on heirloom corn tortillas and tlayudas (a cousin of the tostada) topped with imaginative ingredients like avocado, tomatoes, hibiscus slaw, and pomegranate seeds or pumpkin, fried corn, smoked pecan salsa, and goat cheese. Service begins at 10 am.

After teasing the concept this summer, Bubby’s Jewish Soul Food will make its official San Antonio debut at 12730 NW Military Hwy. on November 14. Helmed by Jason and Charlie Nuttall-Fiske, the restaurant will offer traditional Jewish fare based on recipes passed down from the couple’s grandmothers. Grand opening festivities from 1-4 pm include a blessing and mezuzah ceremony plus free bagels and schmears for guests.

Things are looking up for Alamo City snack shop Tropic Express. The West Side staple suffered a devastating July when fire ravaged its building and thieves ransacked the property the following day. With community support, the eatery quietly resumed serving tortas, raspas, and mangonadas on October 8.

Other news and notes

The Texas Conference for Women and the Texas Restaurant Association are looking to close the hospitality industry gender gap with a new grant program earmarked to support women-owned restaurants. To qualify, an eatery or independent restaurant chain must prove at least 51 percent woman ownership, operate in Texas, and plan to remain open despite the unprecedented challenges currently affecting the food and beverage industry. In all, 80 eateries will be awarded $200,000 in $2,500 increments.

The Food Hall at Bottling Department is giving San Antonians a new reason to lay off the snooze button. According to a release, all the tenants at the Pearl hot spot are now offering breakfast from 8-11 am all week. Highlights include the Tori Katsu Breakfast Sando from Tenko Ramen, breakfast roti from Mi Roti, and smoothies from the recently opened Kineapple.