in this together?
San Antonio restaurants call for community support amid closures and more
Restaurants are opening and closing all the time in San Antonio, but the past few weeks have seen a high frequency of both — plus more woes that have business owners reaching out for community support.
In December, we heard about six new food and beverage businesses at two up-and-coming food markets — one ready, and one still in the works — a new beverage concept from McDonalds (although it hasn't quite committed). Another new project came from a crowdfunding campaign, and that's not even everything.
On the sadder side, in the same time period, at least three well-known restaurants have called it quits: Sari Sari Supper Club, Carnitas Lonjas, and Sangria on the Burg. The latter called for more support for small businesses — surely a hard read for loyal customers who hoped their business would be enough.
"Please choose the mom and pop over the national brand," wrote Sangria owner Ceasar Zepeda in the Instagram announcement. "Please put a little extra effort into choosing a local family's business over a large chain. We sponsor your kids teams, our kids go to school with your kids, we greet you when you break bread with your loved ones and we become your friends and neighbors... You would be surprised at how much only one more visit to a local business a month would improve our economy."
At least four more local restaurants have now made similar appeals to customers via a newsletter and social media.
Sofia's Pizzeria posted on Facebook, December 14, after a break-in:
I know our pizza is good but if you really need a slice that bad just ask. We would be more than happy to help you.The waste of time having to take care of this is the most frustrating. This was at our Bitters location Monday morning so any extra support at that store would be much appreciated.
Deco Pizzeria posted on Facebook, December 14:
Since Covid, our struggles remain the same: staffing shortages; increase[d] food cost and increases in overhead expenses. We continue to be optimistic but the reality is that everyday is a struggle. The extreme heat during summer added to the already daily struggles. As you know, we depend on our patio and live music to help generate revenue. With the cold and wet weather approaching, I am not certain how much longer we can keep our doors open. We are trying super hard but the reality is real. Please come out and support us! Show me and my staff some love.
Green Vegetarian Cuisine shared in its newsletter, as pointed out by MySA:
In these challenging times, we truly understand the difficulties many of our valued customers are facing. We hear about the challenges daily in our customer conversations. The rising costs of food and operations have us hard too — increasing 50 percent in the past three years. It’s not just a number; it’s a reality we feel every day alongside our dedicated team of 20-plus co-workers. … We’re struggling, and need your continued support to keep our doors open.
Letty's Cakes shared a GoFundMe link December 12 after a fatal car crash into the storefront, although the fundraiser saw only one $20 donation in six days at the time of this article's publication. According to the San Antonio Current, the shop requested donations in another post. The latter post appears to have been removed, and the business is back to promoting its baked goods.
San Antonians can do a bit more than hope that things turn around for these businesses if they can find room in their holiday budgets for a local snack. A local Christmas feast might also be a good place to start.