NEWS YOU CAN EAT
An Austin invasion and Hot Cheeto enchiladas remix San Antonio restaurant and bar news
Weeks of woeful San Antonio hospitality news has finally given way to sunshine, even as the city is cloaked in a dour, Seattle gray. Though a locally owned joint is singing its swan song, intriguing new concepts are emerging — including a lauded Venezuelan mini-chain and a frisky Tex-Mex joint. Here are the latest developments on the dining scene.
Openings and closings
Austin import Four Brothers is now quietly serving at downtown's Make Ready Market. The venture, named after the team of owner siblings, has been a Capital City staple since 2015. It has regularly appeared on "best of lists" for its arepas and other Venezuelan fare. The food hall stall is its first foray into the Alamo City market.
Meanwhile, Austin nightlife favorite Barbarella is also seeing the greener grass. A San Antonio location's website and social media accounts have popped up, promising an early 2024 debut. Scant else is known about the project, which bills itself as a "A QPOC-owned dive dance club for people who hate dance clubs." The location is being kept hush-hush.
Medical Center mainstay Martha's Mexican Restaurant has been reborn as a brand-new concept. Mi Gente is the work of entrepreneur Javier Barron, who took over Martha's in 2019. The spot shuttered in May 2023 to make way for the January 12 rebrand. While not steering too far from the former occupant's Tex-Mex fare, the new joint takes a playful approach, riffing on San Antonio's most puro snack foods. Menu items include enchiladas made with Hot Cheetos and elotes enchiladas and chicken on a stick.
In other booze news, two news bars are coming to 415 Cevallos Street in Southtown — the former address of Puerto Rican eatery Luna Rosa. The news was revealed in recent Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation filings, although few specifics were provided. One concept is listed as OverUnder Bar, and the other as simply "Bar." Both have a build-out expected to wrap up in September.
A Broadway Italian staple is the latest victim of San Antonio's tumultuous restaurant climate — although the team attributes the closure mostly to their getting older. Via social media, Fratello's Ristoranteannounced that January 31 would be its last day in business. Fratello's debuted in 2013, offering dine-in Italian-American classics and a market for imported deli meats and other goods. The owners expanded with a second location — Fratello's Centro Citta — in 2017, which folded in 2023.