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5 things to know in San Antonio food right now: Illinois beer chain untaps first local outpost
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 weekly roundup of essential food news.
Openings and closings
A national craft beer franchise is brewing up its first San Antonio outpost. According to Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation records, Illinois-based Beerhead Bar & Eatery will soon begin construction at 19338 Babcock Rd. #100. Though exact pours vary by location, the chain boasts a gobsmacking beer list with 500 bottles and 40 taps. The food is the expected mix of pretzels, pizzas, sandwiches, and salads jazzed up with ingredients like smoked Cheddar and arrabbiata ranch. Opening details are still forthcoming, but the build is set to wrap up in July.
TDLR filings also reveal that the long-awaited Artista Hotel is finally coming to fruition. The $19 million downtown project will include a street-level restaurant and a River Walk restaurant, according to a 2021 release. Though particulars have not been announced, hotel manager Accor owns the Morgans Originals restaurant group, whose portfolio includes tony international concepts like Carna by Dario Cecchini, Katsuya, and Fi'Lia.
Broadway Corridor mainstay Van's Restaurant seems to have permanently shuttered. According to a report from KSAT, health inspectors suspended the license of the once bustling eatery due to plumbing and pest issues. Than Hein Nguyen, who identified himself as the restaurant's chef, told investigators that the restaurant is no longer open to the public but that he occasionally uses the kitchen to cook for family. An independent CultureMap visit confirmed that the building appeared vacant, with broken windows and other signs of disrepair.
Other news and notes
Local bars are busily stuffing their schedules in preparation for Fiesta San Antonio's unprecedented crowds. Jaime's Place will host a four-day pachanga on April 20-23. The four-day festival will include markets, a performance from oldies cover band NCS Band, DJ sets, and Show Us Your Stacys, a daylong tribute to West Side style.
Meanwhile, St. Mary's Strip favorite The Squeezebox is hosting the Smirnoff ICE Preparada Fiesta April 21-23. The bar will serve three riffs on the iconic Fiesta drink, paired with branded medals. Other diversions during the three-day party include live Tejano music, drag performances, and a Sunday appearance of the Fajita Lounge.