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Elotitos/ Facebook [https://www.facebook.com/elotitos.sa/photos/565552585250982]

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

According to a coy Instagram post, Deco District snack shop Elotitos is branching out with a second location in Government Hill. The concept, which puts a contemporary spin on local favorites like corn in a cup, was mum about its exact location and opening date. But another East Side business offered a clue. In a separate post, Folklores Coffee House said that Elotitos would be its neighbor, placing the new Elotitos in the shopping center across from Fort Sam Houston.

Local chain Hometown Burger suddenly shuttered all locations on September 11. In a since-deleted social media announcement, the brand said, "It is with a heavy heart that we are announcing the permanent closing of all our Hometown Burger locations," but did not offer the reasoning behind the decision.

Potluck Hospitality is continuing its sleepless September with yet another restaurant debut. After welcoming Carriqui's first guests on September 2 and gearing up to open Ladino on September 19, the group will say hello to Full Goods Diner on September 22.

Other news and notes

The Pearl has announced a busy schedule of programming celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 - October 15. Starting with a huge Viva Dieciséis party, the near-downtown destination will offer deals and pop-ups throughout the month. Among the culinary offerings are a new mezcal margarita at Boiler House, free aguas frescas at Chilaquil, and several menu specials at La Gloria.

UTSA Libraries and online shop Masienda are teaming up for "MASA: Then and Now," a panel discussion featuring MASA: Techniques, Recipes, and Reflections on a Timeless Staple author Jorge Gaviria, Texas Monthly taco editor José Ralat, and Mixtli chef and co-owner Rico Torres. A deep dive into representations of the nixtamalized corn dough, the conversation will also include light bites from Naco Mexican Eatery and a book signing in partnership with Pearl book shop The Twig.

Maverick Texas Brasserie is on the hunt for a new chef after the departure of longtime chef Chris Carlson. According to a press release, the Maverick Restaurant Group will seek to reinvigorate its original casual French inspiration. "We're looking forward to the next generation of energetic and talented leaders in the kitchen and front of the house that can reignite the spirit that Maverick was founded on — making memories and lingering over simple but delicious food and wine," group president Peter Selig said via statement.

Alamo City fave Max & Louie's New York Diner got a shout-out on Yelp's recent "11 of the Most Outrageous Milkshakes" list. The crowd-sourced reviews app wasn't kidding. The BFS ups the ante on chocolate or vanilla shakes with a topsy-turvy pile of French fries, a loaded burger, and a pickle.

JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa/Facebook [https://www.facebook.com/jwmarriottsanantonio/photos/a.10150662365610854.422473.55807470853/10154264899865854/?type=1&theater]

3 choose-your-own-adventure San Antonio staycations to book this fall

Staycation's All I Ever Wanted

And just like that, summer is over. Kidding, kidding — we have months of 90-degree temperatures left. Still, school is back in session and with September's arrival, it’s time to start booking those fall vacations.

This year, with airlines flailing and the economy doing whatever it is the economy does, perhaps it’s time to consider splurging on a staycation. A change of scenery can boost mental health while taking a sustained break from work has proven to increase physical health. Plus, there's zero percent chance of lost baggage or flight delays.

It’s possible to live in San Antonio forever and not experience everything the city has to offer, which is just one of the attractions of living in a big city. This fall, as the heat begins to break, but before the holidays hit, consider being a tourist in your own backyard with one of these choose-your-own-adventure staycations.

Take the whole family to the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa
The magic of the JW Marriott is its combination of water park and resort, making it an ideal staycation destination for families. Situated in the foothills of the Texas Hill Country, this sprawling retreat offers nearly every amenity possible: golf courses, pickle ball and tennis courts, winding trails, luxury spa, onsite restaurants, Top Golf, and the list goes on. Adding to the fun, family-oriented atmosphere are special events like nightly s’mores by the fire and petting zoos.

Where the JW Marriott really shines is the water park, a massive complex of pools, sand beaches, towering water slides, and 1,100-foot lazy river encircling the entire thing. The slides range from kiddie-size flumes to the Canyon Oak Twister and Hill Country Plunge body slides, both of which start 60 feet in the air and hit speeds of up to 20 mph. (Just remember to keep your arms and legs crossed, something this author learned from experience is not just a suggestion.)

If you need a place to shake off the adrenaline high, consider renting one of the resort’s poolside cabanas. Though it’s an added expense, the attentive staff makes sure everyone has fresh towels, snacks, and cocktails while a personal fridge comes loaded with bottled water and non-alcoholic drinks. Cabanas also offer a personal mini-deck inside the larger pool with lounge chairs so the kids can splash while you relax.

Book your significant other a romantic downtown getaway
San Antonio has no shortage of fabulous downtown hotels, but there’s something magical about the Hotel Havana. The 113-year-old building has almost always been a hotel, beginning at the turn of the century when it was used to house out-of-town merchants who traveled into San Antonio to sell their wares. Today, the boutique hotel offers an industrial-meets-gothic vibe complete with creaky floorboards and crimson carpet leading up the grand staircase.

Though there’s no pool at this Bunkhouse Hotel (if a pool is a must, The Thompson is another favorite situated just a few blocks away), it does offer Ocho, an onsite restaurant with a gorgeous floor-to-ceiling wall of windows, and a subterranean bar.

Make the Havana home base as you explore the River Walk, Southtown, and King William. If you find yourself forced to take an e-scooter by your significant other, as I was during a stay at the Havana last fall, use it to play tourist. Take it for a drive by the Alamo (do note that scooters are programmed to automatically slow to a crawl around the famed attraction) and on through Hemisfair on your way to appetizers and early evening cocktails at Little Em’s Oyster Bar or the new-ish Up Scale, two Southtown hot spots owned by Houston and Emily Carpenter.

For dinner, book a late table at Shiro and take a Lyft (or a scooter if someone forces you to) to the north end of the River Walk for sushi and other Japanese fare. After dinner, take a leisurely stroll back along the river to the hotel for a night cap. (Pro tip: Use the restroom before leaving Shiro or you may end up speed walking the last half of the River Walk and your romantic walk will be ruined.)

Live out your Eloise fantasies at the Hotel Emma
Looking for a solo staycation? San Antonio has the perfect spot for that too: Hotel Emma. At this point, the Emma needs no introduction; the hotel has won countless awards and topped best-of lists for the past seven years. And the August 25 news that chef Jorge Hernandez is taking over the culinary program will only heighten its acclaim. All of this is to say is the Hotel Emma is nice. Very, very nice. And there is no better place to spend a little time (and a lot of money) than soaking in a giant tub in a four-star hotel with a professionally made cocktail delivered directly to your room.

Hotel Emma is located in the heart of the Pearl, a tourist destination in its own right, but when we’re traveling alone, we want to explore as much as possible. Head to Alamo Heights to fuel up with an early morning nosh at Bird Bakery before heading to the McNay Art Museum. On your way back to the Pearl, take a detour down the St. Mary’s Strip for lunch at Singh’s (shrimp bún with a side of chili oil and a Topo) and poke around the nearby vintage shops.

Recharge that afternoon with an in-room massage at Hotel Emma by Hiatus Spa + Retreat and the aforementioned soak ‘n’ cocktail. For dinner, take yourself on a date to Scorpion, an impeccably designed cafe and natural wine bar on the East Side. Once back at the Emma, cozy up in the plush robes and an episode of reality TV. You deserve it.

The otherwordly sunsets atop the JW Marriott willl have guests forgetting they're still in San Antonio.

JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa/Facebook [https://www.facebook.com/jwmarriottsanantonio/photos/a.10150662365610854.422473.55807470853/10154264899865854/?type=1&theater]
The otherwordly sunsets atop the JW Marriott willl have guests forgetting they're still in San Antonio.
Photo courtesy of Sweetgreen

7 things to know in San Antonio food right now: Cult-favorite salad chain sprouts in the Quarry

News you can eat

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

Vibey Los Angeles-based salad chain Sweetgreen is digging into the Quarry. In late August, the fast-casual eatery filed its intention to spruce up the former Max’s Wine Dive space at 340 East Basse Rd., #101. Known for its tech prowess and collaborations with celebrity chefs like David Chang, Sweetgreen has rapidly broadened its footprint since 2007. Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation project details say the spot will be ready for inspection in April 2023. Company reps did not return a request for comment.

San Antonio’s most lauded barbecue joint is firing up a new location. Another filing with TDLR reveals plans for a 2M Smokehouse at 1303 Lorenzo St. in Castroville. The restaurant, led by two-time James Beard-nominated pitmaster Esaul Ramos, will redevelop the former site of Dan’s Meat Market with a new kitchen addition, pit room, bakery, and outdoor seating. According to records, construction is expected to wrap up on June 30.

Move over, Baldwins. A less controversial quartet of siblings moved into the Omni La Mansión del Rio. Helmed by chef Andres Farias, Four Brothers began serving River Walk revelers on August 15. Replacing former onsite restaurant Las Canarias, the eatery finesses South Texas cuisine with Latin and French influences. Mains include a basil-crusted branzino, St. Louis-style ribs, and showy dry-aged tomahawk with confit potatoes and chimichurri.

Millennials looking to see the real-time financial impact of their latte habit can flock to San Antonio’s first Capital One Café as of August 18. The hustle culture hub, open to the general public, offers self-service banking, coworking space, and conference rooms. Capitol One credit and debit customers receive a half-off discount on drinks at the La Cantera shop.

Plant-based pizzeria Verve Pie is saying “thank you, next” to Cibolo. In an August 25 Instagram post, the restaurant explained it is looking to relocate to San Antonio. Staff shortages have made operations difficult for the last two months. Still, the restaurant wanted to hang on until existing employees could seek re-employment. A location within Alamo City limits will be closer to its customer base.

Other news and notes

Best Quality Daughter is taking a stand for reproductive rights. On September 11, the Pearl eatery will host a benefit dinner pairing chef Jennifer Hwa Dobbertin with Iron Chef personality Mason Hereford of New Orleans’ Turkey and the Wolf. Tickets for Good Trouble in Little China are $150 and will benefit Planned Parenthood South Texas and Lift Louisiana.

The Squeezebox is bringing a little sizzle to the St. Mary’s Strip with its inaugural Fajita Lounge Showdown on September 4. During the event, local chefs Kenny Loo of Golden Kirin Restaurant, Sergio Flores of La Tortuga Cocina Latina, Eddie Barrera of Sijang Korean Corn Dogs, Rory Torres of Crispy Bao Gang, and Steve Lopez will battle for a $500 prize. The $10 cover includes all-you-can-eat tacos and entertainment from The Texases.

Photo courtesy of the San Antonio Spurs

San Antonio Spurs take home games on the road to Austin and Mexico this season

Home Away From Home

Most Spurs get pretty rusty after 50 years, but the NBA team is going strong and keeping things fresh by making a push for more fan engagement at "home." For the 2022-23 season, the San Antonio Spurs have announced four special home games, two of which will be held at Austin’s new state-of-the-art venue, the Moody Center.

The team will also play a home game at Arena CDMX in Mexico City on December 17, further strengthening its international fanbase. And on January 13, a 50th anniversary celebration will bring the team home to San Antonio, but this time to the iconic Alamodome.

The dome holds more than 65,000 spectators, which means the game may break records for the NBA regular season. That’s about 50,000 more than The Spurs’ 2021-2022 average, which was 15,014 guests per game.

The Austin games are scheduled for April 6 and 8, 2023. So far, the Moody Center mostly hosts large music events. The only other sports events on the docket as of August are three days of Professional Bull Riding (PBR).

“We are honored to host the San Antonio Spurs for two games in Austin and help the organization celebrate their 50th anniversary season,” said senior vice president Jeff Nickler of the Moody Center and its investor, Oak View Group, in a press release. “Events like these not only generate significant economic impact for our community, but also further elevate Austin’s reputation as a world-class destination for sports and live events.”

The Spurs represent an especially wide region for an NBA team, reaching up to Austin and all the way down into Mexico, the edges of what the release calls a “mega-region.” The team is getting creative with outreach, and just made the first NBA partnership with hiring platform Indeed. But the fans still come first.

“Hosting these four games is part of our vision to purposefully engage and celebrate our entire Spurs following from Mexico to Austin, while fostering the next generation of fans,” said Spurs sports and entertainment CEO RC Buford. “Playing in front of our Austin fans for the first time ever during the regular season, returning to Mexico City, and the Alamodome will each be historic and special moments for our entire organization. We are grateful for our loyal supporters throughout our entire region and are thrilled for the opportunity to play in front of them as part of our 50th anniversary season.”

General tickets for the Moody Center games will be available September 28 via nba.com and the Spurs App. Subscribers to various Spurs and Moody Center memberships will receive first access to presales starting September 21.

Photo by Joe Rodriquez

8 things to know in San Antonio food right now: Sultry new bar opens downtown

News you can eat

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

Sojourn, a sultry new concept from hospitality veterans Derik Cortez and Andrew Carrillo brightened the former Juniper Tar space with a "public grand soft opening" on August 5. The 244 W. Houston St. bar offers a broad range of cocktails, including tiki classics like Mai Tais and playful originals like a martini made with oolong tea and umami bitters. The small kitchen churns out easygoing bites like crudo, dressed oysters, and a braised pork shoulder Cubano.

A new pizzeria has sliced into the River Walk. Fiume Pizzeria and Wine Bar introduced itself to the downtown scene on August 8. Located at the Palacio Del Rio hotel at 200 S. Alamo St., the eatery bills itself as Texapoletana — a portmanteau of Texas and Napolitana. The Texas part comes from seasonally sourced ingredients culled from local farms. The Neapolitan part comes from the blistered pies, panini, and appetizers like burrata.

Following the sudden departure of Playland Pizza in late June, another business has closed in Maverick Building. On August 4, Local Bar announced it had said goodbye to the downtown hustle after a decade of business. A Facebook post did not divulge a reason for the move.

A San Antonio raspa shop is limiting its hours following the closure of two neighboring businesses. Chamoy City Limits announced that it would temporarily reduce operations to Saturdays and Sundays, explaining via Instagram the February shutter of anchor business Smack's Chicken Shack has left its strip mall home feeling "sketch" after dark. The concept has suffered a string of thefts in 2022, including the April heist of a rooftop air conditioning unit. According to the post, weekday hours will resume once an unnamed new restaurant is up and running next door.

Though Chamoy City Limits didn't spill the beans on the name of its future neighbor, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission filings offer a clue. A concept called Lady Bird Beer Garden has applied for a mixed beverage permit at the 447 W. Hildebrand address. There are no details yet on the upcoming watering hole. A website and social media presence appear to be still forthcoming.

Speaking of TABC filings, a new nightspot dubbed Miranda's is headed to 415 E. Cevallos St. Again, the internet offers little clues to the concept. However, a Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation record for the address does include plans for a rooftop bar. We assume the spot is not a temple to master's degree candidate and Che Diaz paramour Miranda Hobbes, but one can always hope.

Other news and notes

Local favorite Texas Nitro Coffee edged out hundreds of Texas food businesses as a finalist for H-E-B's annual Quest for Texas Best competition. Each year, entrepreneurs vie for marketing support, grocery placement, and a cash prize. This year's winner will be announced on August 24 at Dallas' Fair Park.

Fans of the Alamo City's signature condiment will have plenty to pucker over as Chamoy Challenge takes over Rolling Oaks Mall on August 20. Organizers Que Retro Arts promise plenty of sweet-sour treats, with the chamoy champion crowned by celebrity panelists and attendees. Admission is free from noon-5 pm.

Rendering courtesy of Don B. McDonald Architect

The 21 most anticipated San Antonio restaurants and bars opening this fall and beyond

Can't hardly wait

Maybe you've heard: San Antonio is currently experiencing a population boom. Even Austin renters are moving to the Alamo City in droves in search of greater affordability, less traffic, and much better tacos.

Of course, tacos aren't the only dish that San Antonio does right. A diverse crop of restaurants and bars is sprouting up to feed all the hungry newcomers. From promising new ideas from the city's most lauded chefs to a gaggle of Austin imports, here are the most anticipated spots — making local's mouths water — and coming soon.

Be Kind & Rewind
This upcoming arcade bar in the former Alamo Plaza Fuddruckers had sites on opening by this year's Fiesta. However, the website still lists a vague "opening 2022." The concept ignores the gravitas of the Texas Revolution for more recent history — the scrunchied pomp of the '80s.

Big Animal
Though locals were saddened to see Hello Paradise end its run in February, the announcement did come with some promising news. The team behind Bandit BBQ is planning to open a new all-American eatery on the grounds. The opening date is still anyone's guess. It had initially intended to open by spring.

Brenner's Steakhouse
Though locals have been abubble about the River Walk location of this luxury Houston steakhouse since May 2021, the Landry's restaurant group still hasn't offered exact opening details. It has, however, gotten around to updating the website with a targeted date in the fall.

Carriqui
The first of Pearl's big reveals this year, Carriqui will open at 239 E. Grayson St. on September 2. Locals are already abuzz about chef Jaime Gonzalez's menu, which is dedicated to South Texas favorites like coastal seafood, botana platters, barbacoa, and brisket.

Francis Bogside
Coyness seems to be in vogue among San Antonio restaurateurs. So goes it with Francis Bogside owner Steve Mahoney. When announcing that the popular Irish pub would leave Southtown at the end of July, he promised a new Francis Bogside would rise from the ashes. The location and timeframe are yet to be disclosed, though local reporters are no doubt breaking out their trenchcoats.

Full Goods Diner
Paperboy made a name in the Capital City with approachable, locally sourced fare. Now the team is moving into Pearl's new plaza in September. Like its Austin sibling, Full Goods will focus on breakfast and lunch. But guests can expect San Antonio flavor in dishes like carnitas tortas and breakfast enchiladas.

Go Fish Market
One of three anticipated concepts from hospitality dynamos Houston and Emily Carpenter, Go Fish will combine a fresh fish market with a casual café. The pair estimate a winter 2022 opening at 125 W. Grayson St.

Jerk Shack
Chef Nicola Blaque is gearing up for a third brick-and-mortar location of her nationally recognized concept, tentatively set for opening in late summer. The menu will have some slight tweaks with a few more upscale offerings.

Kerbey Lane Cafe
The first San Antonio location of Austin's most famous pancake slinger was expected to arrive at 5515 N. Loop 1604 W., #101 this spring. There's still no definite date, but the outpost has begun hiring.

Künstler Brewing
Vera and Brent Deckard are bringing a second location of their beloved Southtown brewery to Hemisfair's Yanaguana Garden sometime this summer. The new joint will be similar to the original but will offer to-go bites to be enjoyed on the grounds.

Ladino
This Mediterranean restaurant from Austin's acclaimed Emmer & Rye Hospitality Group will fire up the grill in late summer at 200 E. Grayson St. — the former site of Andrew Weissman's Pearl pioneer Il Sogno Osteria. Executive chef Berty Richter's menu focuses on live-fire cooking with scratch pita, mezze, and bountiful vegetables.

La Ruina
The team behind Grayson Street's The Modernist hasn't revealed much about this rum-focused bar. Will it be on the East Side or Southtown? Will it open before the end of the year? For now, San Antonians are free to wildly speculate.

McIntyre's
Construction is still underway for this upscale sports bar, a Southtown version of a Houston favorite. Social media offers little clue to the ultimate opening date. Its Instagram page's single post still says the spot will open in early 2022.

Nineteen Hyaku
Tucked into the lobby level of the upcoming Jefferson Bank tower at 1900 Broadway, Nineteen Hyaku promises upscale sushi served in chic, midcentury modern surrounds. Elevated seafood, tony design? It's no shocker that this is another project from the aforementioned Carpenters. The debut is expected in July 2023.

Pink Shark
Downtown nightlife will gain new vigor when Picks Bar owners Jessica Marinez and Amber Hernandez take over the former Davenport Lounge at 203 N. Presa St. for a brand-new concept. When CultureMap last checked in, the bar did not have a name. Now Pink Shark has an Instagram page so neighbors can follow along with the progress.

Potchernick’s Cervecería
Local architecture firm Clayton Korte is reworking a former sporting goods store at 211 N. St. Mary's St. into a stylish new restaurant and brewery. The completion date has not been revealed, but it is expected to be up and running by year's end.

Restaurant Claudine
The ever-busy Carpenters are also hard at work converting a ramshackle house at 517 E. Grayson St. into an elegant New American eatery. According to its Instagram page, Restaurant Claudine will grace Government Hill in October. Roland Gutierrez, an alum of Supper and Up Scale, will help the kitchen as chef de cuisine.

Stable Hall
Locals will have to wait a bit to enjoy this state-of-the-art music venue at the Pearl. The ambitious project with an outdoor beer garden is not set to open until Spring 2023.

Unnamed Stefan Bowers Project
Sometimes a restaurant doesn't need a name to be highly anticipated. When lauded chef Stefan Bowers unexpectedly announced the closure of Playland Pizza, he also announced a new concept opening at the 1221 Broadway Lofts this fall. Unfortunately, he shared no menu details for the upcoming eatery — only saying that pizza will not be on the menu.

Voodoo Doughnuts
Those wondering what would happen to Playland's 400 E. Houston St. spot soon got their answer. The marble-clad space will become the first San Antonio location of Portland's Voodoo Doughnut by the end of the year.

Wurst Behavior
Sean Wen and Andrew Ho, the team behind Curry Boys and Pinch Boil House, are partnering with craft butcher Joe Saenz on this upcoming beer garden just off the St. Mary's Strip. This time the prolific alchemists will meld traditional german cuisine with Asian flavors. The spot will have a fall opening to take advantage of crisper weather.

Carriqui debuts September 2.

Rendering courtesy of Don B. McDonald Architect
Carriqui debuts September 2.
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Legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers heat up San Antonio with 2023 tour stop

one hot minute

One of alternative rock's most legendary acts is headed to San Antonio on their highly anticipated North American tour next year. Red Hot Chili Peppers will play the Alamodome on Wednesday, May 17, 2023.

Kicking off in Vancouver, British Columbia on March 29, RHCP will also stop in Houston's Minute Maid Park on Thursday, May 25 to close out the North American leg of the tour before heading to Europe. Effortlessly hip modern rock band The Strokes will support the Chili Peppers on both Texas stops, along with talented bassist-vocalist Thundercat.

Tickets go on sale at 10 am Friday, December 9 online. Other supporting acts along the way include Iggy Pop, The Roots, The Mars Volta, St. Vincent, City and Colour, and King Princess.

Touring in support of their two No. 1 studio albums released in 2022, Unlimited Love and Return of the Dream Canteen, the Chili Peppers have played sold-out shows in London, Paris, Los Angeles, and more with notable artists such as A$AP Rocky, Anderson.Paak, Beck, and HAIM.

The first rock band in 17 years to score two No. 1 albums in one year, the band has been red-hot on the Billboard charts and at the MTV Video Music Awards, where they received the Global Icon Award and brought the house down with a performance of the No. 1 single “Black Summer,'' which also won the award for Best Rock Video.

Fronted by the impossibly chiseled and ageless (he's 60!) Anthony Kiedis, the Chili Peppers formed in 1983. Unabashedly proud of their LA roots, the band burst onto the scene with early singles such as "Higher Ground" and "Give It Away," both showcases of bassist Flea's slappin', funk-fueled basslines.

Throughout the peak of alternative music in the '90s, the band saw tragedy, personnel changes at guitar, and reinventions — Kiedes' rap-singing, Flea's bass grooves, and singalong choruses all constants over the decades.

While many '90s alt-rock acts fizzled, the Chili Peppers stayed relevant; the band boasts two anthemic singles with more than 1 billion streams — "Californication" and "Under the Bridge" — and more than 25 million followers on Spotify.

Expect this show to be packed with Gen Xers and new fans for what promises to be one hot minute.

Red Hot Chili Peppers 2023 tour dates:

  • Wednesday, March 29 – Vancouver – BC Place
  • Saturday, April 1 – Las Vegas – Allegiant Stadium
  • Thursday, April 6 – Fargo, North Dakota – FargoDome
  • Saturday, April 8 – Minneapolis – US Bank Stadium
  • Friday, April 14 – Syracuse, New York – JMA Wireless Dome
  • Friday, May 12 – San Diego – Snap Dragon Stadium
  • Sunday, May 14 – Phoenix – State Farm Stadium
  • Wednesday, May 17 – San Antonio – Alamodome
  • Friday, May 19 – Gulf Shores, Alabama – Hangout Music Festival
  • Thursday, May 25 – Houston – Minute Maid Park

Texas-based 3D printing company tapped by NASA to build on the moon

To infinity and beyond

An Austin-based builder of 3D-printed homes, ICON, is making one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind by signing a $57 million contract with NASA to build on the moon.

According to a release from ICON, the Texas company will soon venture into a new frontier of space dimensions. The contract, announced on November 29, was awarded to the company under NASA's Phase III Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. This program allows ICON to use the $57 million award to build their Olympus system, which adds to previous construction done by both NASA and the Department of Defense for exploration of the moon and beyond.

"ICON’s Olympus system is intended to be a multi-purpose construction system primarily using local lunar and Martian resources as building materials to further the efforts of NASA as well as commercial organizations to establish a sustained lunar presence," the release stated.

The project will work in conjunction with NASA's Artemis program, which launched its first rocket in 50 years on November 15. ICON will work with the program to:

  • Use lunar regolith samples brought back from Apollo missions, in addition to other regolith simulants, to see their mechanical behavior in lunar gravity.
  • Bring advanced hardware and software into space through a lunar gravity simulation flight.
  • Create results to inform future lunar construction approaches for the space community.
  • Establish critical infrastructure necessary for a sustainable lunar economy and habitation.

“The final deliverable of this contract will be humanity’s first construction on another world, and that is going to be a pretty special achievement," said Jason Ballard, ICON co-founder and CEO.

"It's a construction system we call Olympus system that will allow us to use the local materials of the moon to build all the elements of infrastructure necessary for a lunar outpost and ultimately a moon base ... launch and landing pads, roadways, habitats, you name it, all the things on the moon," said Ballard.

He added that they hope to start building on the moon by 2026, starting with a launch and landing pad.

In addition to the grant, ICON was awarded a subcontract in 2021 to support NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate to create the world's first and only simulated 3D-printed Mars surface habitat. Called Mars Dune Alpha, it is located at NASA's Johnson Space Center and is assisting in long-duration science missions.

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Read the full story and watch the video at KVUE.com.

6 things to know in San Antonio food right now: New beer garden quietly opens

New You Can Eat

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

The owners of Gold Feather have unofficially untapped a new venture, LadyBird Beer Garden. Although official channels are keeping details mum, a Facebook page run by landlords VLA Real Estate spilled the beans on the November 25 opening. In addition to serving craft beer, the concept at 447 W. Hildebrand Ave has a full kitchen, bar, and a small patio for enjoying the mild December weather.

Months after coyly announcing a second location, Elotitos Corn Bar sprouted a new Government Hill location on December 3. The snack shop is well known for its aguas frescas and elotes flights, offering the street food staple in various flavors. The new outpost is open Monday through Saturday, 3-9 pm.

Following the recent San Antonio expansion of Oregon-based Dutch Bros Coffee, another out-of-towner is gaining some local buzz. According to Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation records, Arkansas franchise 7 Brew Coffee is brewing its first Alamo City location at 4825 Walzem Rd. Barring delays, the project will be completed in May 2023.

Pop-up concept Rose Hip Coffee has found a permanent home at 116 W. Olmos Dr. in Olmos Park. The broadened Rose Hip Market combines caffeine with boutique retail, offering everything from kid's clothes to ready-to-eat sandwiches and salads. The playful equestrian wallpaper might make it a can't-miss selfie spot.

Other news and notes

A new cocktail conference will lift San Antonio's spirits in January. The Culinaria-hosted Third Coast Cocktail Summit will feature seminars, tastings, dinners, and tipsy soirées during its five-day run from January 10-14. All-access passes are now available for $250 for industry and $500 for general admission at the nonprofit's website.

In other booze news, Kinsman's Brandy Alexander Tour is back in full swing for the holiday season. Dorćol Distilling's annual celebration of the famous desert cocktail has drafted 14 spots to offer the renowned desert cocktail this year, including several newcomers like Allora, Bar Loretta, Double Standard, Ladino, and Sojourn Trading Co. A full list of participants can be found here.