Photo courtesy of the Historic Pearl

San Antonians and visitors are likely to spend at least some of Hispanic Heritage Month at Pearl, the de facto city center for local culture. While the more traditional fiestas rage on elsewhere in the city, Pearl businesses offer modernity from Mexican street food to Latin clothes and home goods year round.

As a way to invite more people into the parts they haven't explored yet, the multi-use community has strung together a month of programming between mid-September and mid-October making sure to represent food, art, and more. Offerings include a kickoff party, a night market, and a collaborative new mural by MMCreative Studio.

"San Antonio's history and deep connection to Mexico is intricately woven into the fabric of our city’s culture,” said Pearl CEO Mesha Millsap in a release. “We invite everyone to join us at Pearl as we celebrate our rich heritage with the food, music, art, and culture for which our city is known.”

Pearl visitors should keep an eye out for the following activations:

  • September 12-13 — The Culinary Institute of America’s Latin American Cuisine Summit: Foodservice, culinary, and beverage professionals gather for demonstrations and discussions. These will focus on how food and culture intersect with local sourcing and traditional techniques.
  • September 16 — Viva Dieciséis at Pearl: The community celebrates Mexico's Independence Day with live music, a grito contest, and kids' activities like Lotería and guitar painting. Musical performances include ballet folklórico and mariachi.
  • Wednesdays starting September 20 — Mercadito Cultural: Pearl retailers show their wares while chefs, artisans, and artists bring it all to life with live demos and performances. These include weekly performances by Mariachi Las Alteñas.
  • September 23 and 30 — The Culinary Institute of America’s Wine Exploration Classes: The famous culinary school leads wine-lovers through Mexican and South American vintages in their respective classes.
  • Sundays, September 24 to October 8 — Vamos a Bailar with Esta Noche Dance Company: The dance company offers bachata and salsa classes for all levels, whether guests have a parter or are dancing solo. Even guests who don't want to dance are invited to sit in and listen.
  • Various dates — Calavera and Alebrije Collection: The neighborhood hosts two alebrijes and four calaveras — all large-scale— from the private collection of Chef Johnny Hernandez and La Gloria. The calaveras were created in partnership with local artists.

Food and drink specials will also pop up at various restaurants and bars throughout the neighborhood. Special menus, prices, and performances are on offer at Cured (chiles en nogada dinner), Carriqui (margarita deals and spirit tastings), Boiler House (tastings and a tequila dinner), Botika (spicy pineapple frozen margaritas and tequenhos), Hotel Emma (six-course dinner), and Local Coffee (horchata deals).

There's much to keep track of, but every day at Pearl is an adventure. Keep track of its many offerings via atpearl.com or on social media.

Photo courtesy of Garrison Brothers

Raise a glass — and funds — in September with Garrison Brothers Bourbon

Old Fashioned Fun

Forget the drink of the summer — it's finally time for the drink of the fall, and because September is National Bourbon Heritage Month, an OId Fashioned seems exactly the right choice.

To celebrate, Garrison Brothers Bourbon is mounting its Hye Fashioned Takeover, a month-long festivity of flavor, tradition, and innovation where bars and restaurants across the country showcase their mixology mastery with creative Old Fashioned specials.

But the takeover isn't just about creative cocktails. With every Instagram or Facebook post you share about your #hyefashioned experience, Garrison Brothers will make a donation of $2 to Boot Campaign to support their life-changing programs for veterans and military families.

Even better: Every post counts as an entry for a chance to win one of 10 unique Garrison Brothers prize packages, which includes a custom engraved barrel stave, four Garrison Brothers glencairn glasses, an embroidered Garrison Brothers apron, and a $50 gift card from Boot Campaign to to be used on Shop.BootCampaign.org.

To officially enter:

1. Take a picture of your Hye Fashioned cocktail (heck, take a few!).
2. Tag and follow @garrisonbros and @bootcampaign.
3. Make sure to use the hashtag #hyefashioned to showcase your love for this iconic cocktail and help raise money for Boot Campaign.

Ten winners who post the most during September 1-31 will be selected at the conclusion of the program.

Wondering where to go in San Antonio to get your Hye Fashioneds? Here's where to toast and taste America's favorite cocktail during September:

To learn more and see the official rules, visit: hyefashioned.com.

Photo by Julia Keim

Twin Liquors brings back popular weekend 'Dollar Sale' in San Antonio

What's Not To Liquor?

After all the barbecues, late-night porch hangs, and lake trips that have San Antonians pouring through their summer stock of spirits, it's time for a refill. And this ain't no farmers market run — since these bottles are made to last years, this popular splurge may set visitors up with everything they need til the next one.

Twin Liquors, a family-owned store based in Texas, has announced that its annual "Dollar Sale" will return to all stores from August 24-26. That's not quite a dollar-per-bottle deal; The store-wide sale marks every item of 750 milliliters or more down to its "absolute lowest," according to a news release, and adds $1. Still, visitors practically tore the door off its hinges last year, and surely still have leftovers.

This deal will be especially useful for high-end bottles like collectible wines and rare whiskies, which are priced for luxury — and designer shoppers in the fashion world know how those sample sales go. This may also be some cocktail connoisseurs' opportunity to stock up on premium spirits for specialty cocktails.

After 10 years, Twin Liquors knows how to turn the sale into a community event. Marketplace locations (larger stores, listed below) will kick the sale off with free breakfast tacos and Lalo Tequila cocktails, on August 24 beginning at 10 am on Thursday. There will also be samples available to try before you buy.

There are two local Marketplace stores: one in North Central San Antonio at Bitters Marketplace (12955 San Pedro Ave. #500), and one in the Alamo Heights area (999 E. Basse Rd. Ste. 155).

More information about Twin Liquors and the sale is available at twinliquors.com and on social media.

European Dumplings Cafe/ Facebook

Where to eat this semester in San Antonio: 7 new college-friendly restaurants

Dining Hall

Years ago, college dining used to be much simpler. Outfit a kid with a microwave and an electric kettle, and they could study into the night, noshing pizza rolls, chicken nuggets, and Cup Noodles. Then, Padma Lakshmi done messed it up.

Weaned on a regular diet of food television and TikToks — not to mention their parents' increasingly international tastes — today's generation isn't so satisfied stirring powdered blends in tepid water. The young palate is increasingly demanding, even if university life still dictates fast and cheap food.

For University of Texas at San Antonio students, add one more hurdle to cross. The Northwest Side may be the culinary hinterlands, but no one wants to brave traffic for a quick weekday meal.

Fortunately, a fresh pack of restaurants has graduated magna cum laude in these new economics. When it's midterms, undergrads will be glad to have a meal plan.

European Dumplings Café
College is an opportunity to expand horizons, something this Ukranian café has been doing since it was a food truck. Now settled in Castle Hills, it still impresses with Eastern European classics such as empanada-like chebureki and fluffy pierogi stuffed with mashed potatoes and onions.

Kabayan Kusina
This Filipino gem's menu goes well beyond lumpia. Wake up with to-silog (cured pork served with a fried egg and garlic fried rice), score a bargain with one of the lunch specials, or just go for dessert. Halo-halo is a classic study break for a reason. And the tiny, semi-hidden store front is sure to make a student look cool when saying, offhandedly, "I know a place."

McIntyres North Star
The second San Antonio location of a popular Houston sports bar has a sophisticated drink menu of classic cocktails and 14-year Scotch. However, collegians may still reach for the White Claw. Whatever's in that glass (or can), it's an essential place to hang out during Roadrunners game day.

Mr. Ramen
One can't expect students to give up their ramen habit entirely. At least this newcomer offers tonkatsu and vegetable broths and an array of toppings that are not freeze-dried. Noodle lovers will also appreciate Korean japchae loaded with bulgogi and udon soup brightened by kimchi.

Palomar Comida & Cantina
True, this colorful Northside eatery doesn't break any barriers, but comfort food is an undeniable anchor of the college diet. Students should schedule a visit during the daily happy hour, generously held from 2-6 pm and 9-10 pm. Nothing on the special menu is over $10, including warm weather essential mangonada flights.

Texas Dog Co.
Just ask Elle Woods. College is more fun if you have a pet. But even students not yet ready to commit to a furry companion will enjoy blowing off steam at this waggish bar. Plus, the joint is home to El Mitote, a food trailer dishing out affordable ceviche, mini tacos, and quesabirria.

Wok N' Fries
Located within earshot of campus, this food truck specializes in fries topped with everything from bacon and onion rings to chicken, mushrooms, and alfredo. While the calorie-dense piles and huge portions may not win Michelle Obama's admiration, finals are no time to fret about one meal.

European Dumplings Cafe San Antonio

Expand the college palate at European Dumplings Cafe.

Photo by Ian Hufians

Le Petite Fete presents Euphoric Summer: A Euphoria Rave

At Le Petite Fete's Euphoric Summer Dance Party, guests can step into a world inspired by HBO’s hit show, Euphoria. A DJ will play hits from favorite artists featured in the show like Billie Eilish, The Weekend, Post Malone, Labrinth, Lizzo, and more. There will be a Euphoria-themed photo wall for photo ops, so bright eyeliner, gem tones, glitter, and tons of sequins are encouraged.

Photo courtesy of The Briscoe Western Art Museum

Briscoe Western Art Museum presents Sips and Sounds of the West

Briscoe Western Art Museum will present Sips and Sounds of the West. Filling the museum’s Jack Guenther Pavilion and McNutt Sculpture Garden, the evening features live music, drinks and food flowing through the pavilion and under the watchful eyes of the fantastic bronze sculptures. Classic country cover band, The Texases, will fill the evening with favorite country hits from ‘66 to ’96.

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San Antonio International Airport clears runway for 1st nonstop flight to Europe

booking tix now

Big news for Texas travelers: San Antonio International Airport's first-ever nonstop flights to Europe will begin in 2024.

Passengers can now book tickets via Condor Airlines for flights from San Antonio International Airport (SAT) to Germany's Frankfurt Airport (FRA) between May 17 and September 6, 2024. Flights will initially operate three days a week – Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays – and flights to Frankfurt are expected to take a little more than 10 hours, while flights coming in from overseas will last about 11.5 hours.

The seasonal service is a "spectacular win" for the city, according to Mayor Ron Nirenberg, and could bring in an estimated $34 million annually. The airport has been seeing wins left and right, having just been named one of the nation's least stressful airports, and consistently handling busier and busier days.

"Germany is where San Antonio has the most demand for travel in Europe because of the cultural, historic, tourism, military, and business ties," Mayor Nirenberg said in a news conference on September 21.

San Antonio Airport System Director of Airports Jesus Saenz foreshadows that the SAT-FRA flight is "just the beginning" of possible flight expansions for the airport in the future.

"We fully believe San Antonio will utilize this service to Europe and take advantage of Condor’s extremely competitive airfares," he said. "Once that happens, we anticipate Condor will expand their services even further."

The airline will be using a brand new Airbus A330-900neo aircraft for the nonstop flights, which features 30 business class seats, 64 premium economy seats, and 216 economy seats.

"With our growing fleet of A330neos, we can provide better travel options to more Americans every year," said Condor CEO Ralf Teckentrup said in a release. "I am particularly proud to offer the only nonstop connection from San Antonio, Texas to Frankfurt, Germany – the heart of Europe, where travelers can enjoy the popular touristic sights of Germany or travel beyond conveniently by air, road, or rail. I invite everyone to try out our newest and most luxurious in-flight experience ever."

Monday flights will depart from SAT at 10:05 pm and arrive in Frankfurt at 3:20 pm the following day. Returning flights from FRA on Mondays will depart at 3:40 pm and arrive at SAT at 8:05 pm.

For Wednesday and Friday flights, departures from SAT will take place at 8:25 pm and arrive at FRA at 1:40 pm the next day. Returning flights from FRA will depart at 2:00 pm and arrive at SAT at 6:25 pm.

New honky-tonk surprisingly two-steps into St. Paul's Square


When Steve Mahoney first relaunched Francis Bogside and sibling wine bar, Anne’s, in the former home of Smoke BBQ, rumors circulated on how he would use the expansive upstairs space. Now, San Antonio has its answer. In a surprise move, the veteran bar owner debuted his latest venture — honky-tonk concept Blayne’s — on September 22.

The name pays homage to the late Blayne Tucker, the former co-owner of the Mix and managing partner of Floore’s Country Store. A tireless advocate for the city’s musical scene, he helped usher in the Save Our Stages Act, assisting hundreds of venues to stay afloat nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“[Blayne’s] impact in San Antonio is nothing short of extraordinary,” said Mahoney via a release. “We hope to continue his efforts and support live music in the city.”

Fittingly, music will be in the air at Blayne’s, starting with The Babylonz and DJ Guero Vaquero from 5 pm to 2 am on the soft opening night. A large dance floor, pool tables, and bar games complete the honky-tonk vibe.

Like many of Mahoney’s bars, Blayne’s has a solid food program. The Tex-Mex fusion menu features eclectic pub grub like red curry short rib mini tacos, southwest eggrolls, street corn bites, smoked barbacoa pizza, and customizable nachos. The initial press announcement didn’t deeply discuss the drink options but promised margaritas, house cocktails, and beer.

Though no official announcement has been made, Mahoney has another bar up his sleeve. The Francis Bogside website teases the January 2024 opening of Robert’s, named after Mahoney’s late business partner, Robert Darilek. Details, including the location, are slim, but the landing page touts “feature club-style seating, an extensive whiskey list, and a cigar menu.”

Following the September 22 sneak peek, Blayne’s will be open Wednesday through Saturday, 5 pm to 2 am.

Blayne's San Antonio

Photo by TXTroublemaker

Blayne's food menu includes red curry short rib mini tacos.

San Antonio contemporary art sale preps red dots for 33rd year

The eye of the beholder

Sometimes it feels like the only art most people will ever have in their homes is funky craft market finds, but one San Antonio art hub is making its contemporary curation accessible in a popular annual sale. The 33rd annual Red Dot Sale is returning soon.

Held at Contemporary at Blue Star, the exhibition and celebration of local artists officially opens to the public on October 6th. Don't fret if you can't make it to the opening weekend, as the Red Dot art sale will be on display until January 9, 2024. Eager art buyers will even be able to look at pieces for purchase online at the official Blue Star Red Dot website.

There will be a special opening night celebration on October 4 from 6-10 pm, where guests who purchase a ticket will be able to preview the artwork on display and for sale from more than 100 San Antonio based artists. (The event page also teases a silent disco after-party.)

Previous Red Dot Sales have reportedly seen prices as low as $200, so there really are works available for most budgets.

The Red Dot Art Sale is a fundraiser that helps keep Contemporary at Blue Star running year after year. According to this year's call for submissions (now closed), half the proceeds from the event go toward funding Contemporary at Blue Star's ongoing exhibitions, and half will go to the artists who put their work on display.

Continuing the ongoing theme of supporting talented local artists, the Red Dot exhibition also features an honored artist who has consistently displayed dedication to supporting the San Antonio arts scene.

This year that chosen honoree is Cathy Cunningham-Little, an artist inspired by explorations of illusions versus reality.

According to Cunningham-Little's official biography, her central theme in her pieces were inspired by her father's loss of sight due to a genetic disorder.

In Cunningham-Little's own words, viewers of her artwork are, "asked to become an active participant in a dialogue with the work as they experience the dissolution of boundaries between substance and space."

The sale also spotlights Andi Rodriguez as this year's distinguished patron, as well as the MOSAIC Student Artists — a group of high school students who study studio art and business in an after-school program with the Contemporary.

The Red Dot exhibition and sale will also feature augmented reality (AR), thanks to a partnership with a San Antonio-based art tech startup called Kaleido. Guests who attend the show will be able to utilize Kaleido's AR to hear straight from the artists about their work (as opposed to reading a placard describing what the artwork is supposed to be).

“I am thrilled that Red Dot celebrates San Antonio’s vastly rich community of artists,” said the Contemporary’s Executive Director Mary Heathcott in a release. “I am also excited to partner with Kaleido, which has the potential to share Red Dot works and artists across the globe. With innovation being one of our pillars, this new partnership will elevate the Red Dot show to an immersive augmented reality engagement.”

Tickets ($75) for the opening event are still available in a limited quantity — purchase them via Eventbrite.