The East Side's most vital wine bar and cafe quietly shutters
One of San Antonio’s most effortlessly stylish wine bars appears to have closed. After seeing murmurings on review sites, CultureMap stopped by Dignowity Hill hot spot Scorpion to see the 125 Lamar St. space stripped of product and furnishings.
It’s unclear when the concept vacated the spot. Once a frequent social media presence, Scorpion went dark on Instagram after a May 25 post advertising its Thursday happy hour. The last Facebook post was on March 4.
Alex Lee and Jake Scott, the owners of Indy Coffee Club, opened Scorpion in the summer of 2020, first as a basement window selling coffee, wine, and curated snack boxes. Later that fall, the main space connected to the hip gift shop Temple of Offering debuted.
The cafe was one of San Antonio’s most singular concepts. Painstakingly DIYed, the minimal interior wrapped banquettes, shelving, and walls in locally quarried limestone. With leather accents, warm woods, and dried organics, the space conjured vacation retreats like Marfa, Santa Fe, and Santorini, Greece.
Though there were several shifts in the service offered, the culinary program was just as unique. Under the early direction of chefs Kenny Loo and Juan Mesa, Scorpion wowed with inspired Peruvian cuisine. Most recently, it focused on New American bistro fare like a riff on Buffalo chicken and crispy Parmesan potatoes with aioli.
Throughout the run, wine director Taylor Zettner was a constant presence, curating an imaginative list of low-intervention sippers. More importantly, he offered real-time expertise on the oft-misunderstood natural wine category. He was your guy if one wanted a pairing or a patio pounder for a steamy San Antonio day.
It’s unclear the reason for the closure or whether the brand will eventually make a comeback. Although the website is still active, online ordering appears to be disabled. A request for comment via social media direct message went unanswered.
But here’s hoping that Scorpion will eventually reemerge. Operating in a food scene increasingly dominated by hollow corporate ethos, the café proposed that San Antonio — and the East Side — could be a true food and wine destination. That vitality will be sorely missed.