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Photo courtesy of Feld Entertainment

Music and motorsports are at the top of our agenda for the days to come in Alamo City. See the hit musical Rent live at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, or watch high-speed stunts when Monster Jam takes over the Alamodome. Check out the top five things to do in San Antonio this weekend. For more event listings, go to our calendar.

Thursday, January 19

Cirque Italia presents Nitro Extreme Motor Stunt Show
Acrobatics and engines collide at this high-speed Cirque Italia production. This show will feature a barrage of movie-level automobile stunts like two-wheeled driving, epic jumps, motorcycle tricks, and more — all accompanied by perfectly timed pyrotechnic explosions for an incredible experience. Get more information on the event website.

San Antonio Broadway Theatre presents Rent
The groundbreaking story of young artists struggling to make it big in New York’s Lower East Side amid the HIV/AIDS epidemic is back on stage this weekend only. Audiences can expect the endearing and heartbreaking tale that follows the lives of memorable characters like Roger, Mini, Tom, and Angel. Seating for all shows is still available.

Friday, January 20

Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club presents T.J. Miller
Comedian T.J. Miller brings his brand of humor to Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club. He’s best known for his starring roles in Silicon Valley, Big Hero 6, Deadpool, and Deadpool 2. Get your table tickets here. Shows are scheduled through January 22.

Saturday, January 21

Broadway in San Antonio: R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
The incredible life and musical legacy of Aretha Franklin come to life on the Majestic Theatre stage for one night only. Guests can journey through the Queen of Soul’s discography and rise to the top of the charts with a setlist of songs including “Natural Woman,” “Think,” and “Chain of Fools” among many others. For ticket availability, click here.

Monster Jam
Gear up for an evening of gravity-defying action and high-fueled fun when Monster Jams pulls into the Alamodome this weekend only. The two-day event will feature 12,000-pound Monster Jam trucks competing in speed and skill challenges. For more information on the all-star line up and to purchase tickets, visit the event website.

Photo courtesy of Feld Entertainment

Monster Jam comes to the Alamodome this weekend.

Photo courtesy of Pinstack

7 things to know in San Antonio food right now: Upscale bowling venue stacks up new Far North Side location

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

Dallas-based entertainment hub Pinstack is aiming to roll a double in San Antonio. Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation records reveal the company is building out a new location at 19238 I-10 W. After a pandemic delay, the concept opened its first Alamo City outpost at 742 NW Loop 410 #201 in November 2022. The new Pinstack promises more of the same, offering upscale food with family friendly fun.

Locally owned Stout House is also expanding its footprint. Via social media, the watering hole shared owner Doug Ackerly’s news that two new locations are pouring into the Far West Side. First out of the gate will be an outpost at Alamo Ranch Parkway and Alamo Parkway, opening in late February or early March. Hot on its tails will be a space at Culebra Road and Tally Road, opening “three weeks behind.”

A Houston-based seafood chain with a Latin American twist will soon be docking in San Antonio. According to a recent filing with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, Mambo Seafood is converting the former Joe’s Crab Shack at 4711 NW Loop 410 into its first area outpost. Once open, diners can expect fried fish, shrimp platters, seafood cocktails, and signature rice bowls.

Continuing his ambitious 2022 path, local nightlife juggernaut Adrian Martinez is opening another Smoke BBQ+ Skybar near North Star Mall. The concept took to social media on January 3 to announce that it was taking over the vacated Miami Bar space at 602 NW Loop 410 for a new chain location. Martinez operates four locations in San Antonio and an outpost in Corpus Christi.

Residents of Castle Hills will soon wake up to a new Clear Light Coffee Co. location. The shop shared that a special use permit was approved for a second spot at West Avenue and Northwest Military Highway. In addition to caffeine, it will serve various small bites and wine. The opening date is still pending.

Other news and notes

Chicken-fried steak staple Josephine Street is taking a breather in January for maintenance. Via Instagram, the long-running restaurant said it would be out of action starting January 2. Fans of home-style food need not worry, however. The gravy will flow again on January 23.

Curry Boys BBQ is ready for its close-up. The critically acclaimed eatery announced on Instagram that it will be featured on PBS’ Planet Barbecue, hosted by Steve Raichlen. Though the schedule hasn’t been announced yet, the series debuts in May.

Photo by Mason Aschenbrenner

Tobin Center presents Wheel of Fortune Live

Tobin Center will present Wheel of Fortune Live, an all-new theatrical experience that is the one-and-only way fans can experience the popular game show in person outside of Sony Pictures Studios.

At Wheel of Fortune Live guests can try out to go on stage with the chance to spin a replica of the iconic Wheel and solve the puzzles on the tour’s puzzleboard to win fantastic prizes, including up to $10,000 in cash, a trip to Paris, Hawaii and more at every show.

Photo by Vladimir Kevorkov

Here are the top 5 things to do in San Antonio this weekend

Weekend Event Guide

The rich culture of Alamo City is on magnificent display, and you don’t want to miss out. Spark your creativity and sense of wonder at the return of the Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival, or get a glimpse into the artistic traditions of Native American communities at the Yanaguana Indian Arts Festival. Check out the top five things to do in San Antonio this weekend. For a full listing of events, go to our calendar.

Thursday, November 17

Copa presents 17th Annual Barbecue & Beaujolais Party
Savor the release of this year’s most anticipated Beaujolais Nouveau wines at Copa Wine Bar & Tasting Room. The three-day bash will allow guests to indulge on a tasting flight along with a paired food special crafted by the Copa kitchen. Get more information here.

Friday, November 18

Coasters and The Platters Holiday Show
Groove into the holiday spirit with the musical stylings of three Rock & Roll Hall of Fame groups at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. The Drifters, The Cornell Gunter Coasters, and The Platters will take the stage to perform a special setlist inspired by the season. Audiences can expect hits like "This Magic Moment," "Charlie Brown," and "Up on the Roof” to fill the room. Tickets to this show are still available here.

Saturday, November 19

Briscoe Western Art Museum presents Yanaguana Indian Arts Festival
Experience the culture and artistic traditions of Native American communities when you attend the Yanaguana Indian Arts Festival. Guests can enjoy pow wow-style drum circles, dancing, storytelling, artist demonstrations, workshops, lectures, pottery, weaving and carving, and much more on The Briscoe Western Art Museum grounds. Traditional Native American-inspired food will also be available to round out this unique day of celebration. Entry is free, and for more information about the festival, check out this story.

Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter Miracle
Become a part of the classic holiday production The Nutcracker with the help of multimedia elements at Lighthouse San Antonio. This 30-minute, immersive experience takes guests through the entire tale by using over 500,000 cubic feet of projections composed of over 1 million frames of video. Discover what it’s like to be inside memorable scenes and classical scores like “The March of the Toys,” “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” and more. For ticketing information, visit the event website. Immersive Nutcracker is open through January 2, 2023.

Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival
This celebration of San Antonio arts and artists is back for another year of nocturnal fun at Hemisfair. Highlights of the outdoor festival include large structural installations, in-gallery installations, digital art, performance art, spoken word, music, theater performances, film, and much more. For a full schedule of events and for venue information, go to the festival website. Admission is free and open to the public.

Photo by Vladimir Kevorkov

Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter Miracle is open this weekend through January 2, 2023.

Wheel of Fortune Live spins into San Antonio with puzzles, prizes, and celebrity host

Give It A Spin

We’re all subject to the wheel of fortune, but not all get to watch it turn onstage. San Antonians are the lucky ones on January 26, 2023, when “Wheel of Fortune Live” comes to the Tobin Center. The “theatrical experience” is not exactly the same as the long-running game show — since it’s not broadcast — but there are still opportunities to win big prizes.

The Sony Pictures Television-backed stage show is the only official experience outside of the filmed show, and it’s traveling across the country to make sure everyone gets a chance to see it. Apart from the two-night stop in Alamo City, the tour will also stop in Cedar Park near Austin on January 25, Grand Prairie near Dallas on January 24, and Houston on January 27.

Although hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White, arguably even more iconic than the wheel that serves as the main game mechanic, are sitting this one out, there will be new celebrities carrying the torch.

Antiques Roadshow host Mark L. Walberg and singer Clay Aiken will split hosting duties depending on the date, and it is yet undecided who will host at any of the four Texas shows, all in 2023. The wheel, of course, will be there — or at least a replica. Audience members will be invited to compete for prizes including $10,000 in cash and trips abroad.

Wheel of Fortune (referring to a metaphor hundreds of years old, which compares fate to a wheel that ensures someone will not always be up or down) has been on air since 1975, now encompassing a catalog of several thousands of episodes. Amazingly, the show changes very little from episode to episode, but has kept viewers entertained with endless puzzles. Some younger viewers may vaguely recognize the show or newly engage with it, especially thanks to a new celebrity variation, which has cultural icons like Snoop Dogg making questionable guesses like “baking onions.”

Three contestants face a series of crossword-like word puzzles, which they need to solve by guessing letters as allowed by a buying system. For each turn, they spin the wheel of fortune, which randomly lands on a dollar amount, prize, or penalty. “I’d like to buy a vowel,” is a seemingly odd and recognizable phrase from this unique game, which turns the resource management of board games into actual stakes, as the players spend winnings they hope to walk away with at the end of the show.

Unlike games like Jeopardy! and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, this game is especially audience-participant friendly, as it doesn’t require any special knowledge past being a quick thinker, and occasionally knowing common English phrases.

Presale for “Wheel of Fortune Live” ($34.50) at the Tobin Theater is open now. General sales open on November 18 at 10 am. Visit wheeloffortunelive.com to see all dates. Order online, visit the box office in person (100 Auditorium Circle), or call (210) 223-8624.

Photo courtesy of Main Event

Entertainment chain Main Event serves up new restaurant at San Antonio locations

Bonus Event

Main Event, the entertainment chain known for its arcade games, sports, and prizes, can’t resist adding even more to its roster. With two San Antonio-area locations (one on North Loop 1604 East and one on TX-151), the games are still the main event, but now dinner is taken care of too — not just a few items at a concession window, but a full restaurant called Family Kitchen that boasts “nearly 50 new and unique menu items.”

These items start with the standard arcade food staples — burgers, sandwiches, pizza — but Family Kitchen applies its own spins for a more creative menu. Whereas before, the entertainment venue served many more generic items, Family Kitchen revamped every item to make sure it was unique to the restaurant, in addition to adding new ones.

A Triple Lava Burger comes with cheese and cheese sauce; a PBB&J Burger combines the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a less-expected blueberry jam and a totally left-field burger, bacon, and cheese; and chicken wings come in eight different sauces and rubs, including a Nashville hot blend and a lemon pepper rub.

“Family Kitchen was developed with extra care, attention to detail and a focus on premium quality ingredients,” said Chef Wiley Bates III, director of culinary innovation at Main Event Entertainment, in a press release. “We’re excited for our guests to experience our new menu offerings, which have been seasoned with salt, pepper and love, and added playfulness that customers experience throughout the rest of the Main Event center.”

As expected at the arcade, the first priority across much of this menu is shareables, including loaded fries, nachos, and pizzas. The shareability does start with volume, with “Family Feasts” bundling commonly ordered items for four to six people, but it also means more inclusive options like vegan Beyond Meat substitutes and salads. Mocktails are also available, although the presence of a “Cotton Candy Shirley” makes it clear these selections are more about being fun for kids than catering to sober adults. (Alcoholic drinks are available at the bar or the restaurant, but are not included on the online menu.)

“The Family Kitchen was largely inspired by Main Event’s brand promise to be a place for families to bond,” said Main Event Chief Marketing Officer Ashley Zickefoose. “From shareable favorites with our Family Feasts to offering something tasty and memorable for everyone in the family….”

Main Event may remind visitors of Dave & Buster’s, for good reason: the two entertainment and food venues are owned and operated by the same parent company. Dave & Buster’s, initially from Dallas, is the significantly larger brand with 148 stores, but Main Event is catching up. The latter is founded and headquartered in Coppell, Texas, and now has 52 locations. Main Event centers are also more kid-focused, and typically larger than those in the Dave & Buster’s, since they offer games like laser tag and escape rooms.

Family Kitchen is accessible to any visitors, whether or not they play any games, but there are food and game bundles to streamline the experience. More information about Main Event and the new restaurant are available at mainevent.com.

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Where to see the once-in-recorded-history green comet approaching San Antonio

Seeing green

The world is buzzing with news of an approaching astronomical body, Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF), more often referred to in the news and social media as "the green comet." Its most recent appearance was 50,000 years ago — compared to the about 200,000 years since modern humans emerged.

"While the pictures of it have been impressive, its visual appearance differs greatly," explains Joe Wheelock, public program specialist at the McDonald Observatory at the University of Texas at Austin. "Currently you might glimpse it with the unaided eye as a fuzzy patch of light[,] but you would need to be away from city lights. Binoculars or a telescope would improve the view, and you might even glimpse a faint tail."

As tempting as it is — and as much fodder as its made on social media — this experience will not be easy for most Texans to photograph and share. "The pictures that have been posted on various websites were taken by experienced astrophotographers and in most cases cameras designed for astrophotography," Wheelock warns.

Some logistics to note when planning a viewing:

  • The comet will be closest to Earth (thus, likely the most visible) on February 1.
  • Wheelan says placement will also be good in late January and early February, and it will be best viewed after midnight. Since the new moon was on January 21, every day the moon will compete with it a little more.
  • The McDonald Observatory posts daily stargazing tips, so viewers will have a few chances at seeing something special, even if the comment doesn't work out.
  • Getting out of San Antn is the best bet against light pollution.

Those who are willing to make a trip out of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity should consider their best chances at out running the city lights. The closest popular option to San Antonio proper is McAllister Park, which sometimes hosts stargazing events. For a more structured approach, the Curtis Vaughan Jr. Observatory at the University of Texas at San Antonio hosts first Friday stargazing nights after sunset. The McDonald Observatory, although it is an entity of the University of Texas at Austin, is in Fort Davis, about 400 miles from San Antonio.

The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) maintains records of some of the world's least light-polluted skies and works to protect them, ensuring that these places stay available for reliable stargazing retreats. There are four IDA-certified Dark Sky Parks in Texas: Enchanted Rock (90 miles from San Antonio), South Llano River (120 miles), Copper Breaks (370 miles), and Big Bend Ranch (490 miles).

In addition to the certified parks, there is a smaller group of Dark Sky Sanctuaries, which are especially dark and carefully protected. There are two in Texas: Devil's River State Natural Area (170 miles) and Black Gap Wildlife Management Area (390 miles).

For more in-depth reading on the comet's trajectory and context, Wheelan suggests an article in Sky & TelescopeSky & Telescope.

San Antonio suburb among the richest places in Texas for 2023, plus more top stories

Hot Headlines

Editor’s note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. Here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. San Antonio suburb cashes in among the richest places in Texas for 2023. Alamo Heights has been renamed the third richest place in Texas for 2023 in a recent study.

2. San Antonio home sales slowed in December 2022, report finds. San Antonio sold 36,477 homes all year, a 10 percent decrease from 2021.

3. Here are the top 5 things to do in San Antonio this weekend. Nina Simone, Pink Floyd, the Beatles and more music-centered events made our roundup of the best things to do in Alamo City this weekend.

4. San Antonio Home & Garden Show returns with HGTV star. Ati Williams will headline the San Antonio Spring Home & Garden Show, which takes place February 24-26.

5. H-E-B opens first location in growing San Antonio suburb. The state-of-the-art facility offers 110,000 square feet of floor space, providing everything from cat food to charcuterie.


Popular Pearl brunch spot remixes with new weekend DJ nights

OONCE OONCE OONCE

Though Full Goods Diner has barely been open for half a year, it has already become a San Antonio staple for working weekday lunches and lingering Sunday Fundays. Now the Pearl eatery is looking to be a hot spot after dark.

Via release, the popular local haunt just announced a new limited-time music series, Full Goods at Night. Starting on February 2, Full Goods Diner will open select evenings throughout the month.

The Full Goods at Night series will feature popular local San Antonio DJs, including El West Side Sound, Hector Gallego, DJ Plata, Steven Lee Moya, and Cami Gee. Guests can enjoy live sets while indulging in a specially curated food and drink offerings.

The menu will include some of Full Goods Diner's best—selling items, such as French toast sticks, barbacoa waffle fries, and jumbo cheesy tots. Libations like the Attaboy Negroni, Royal Bermuda Daiquiri, Pink G&T, and more will fuel the festivities.

In addition to enjoying moonlight brunch, guests can relish some prime people-watching. And, of course, the restaurant is just a hop from other nightlife destinations like Pink Hill, 3 Star Bar, and Summer Camp Bar, making it the perfect party starter.

The series runs every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from February 2-25, 6-10 pm. The complete DJ schedule is listed below.

February 2 — El West Side Sound·
February 3 — Hector Gallego
February 4— DJ Plata
February 9 — El West Side Sound
February 10 — Steven Lee Moya
February 11 — Cami Gee
February 16 — El West Side Sound
February 17 — Steven Lee Moya
February 18 — Hector Gallego
February 23 — El West Side Sound
February 24— Steven Lee Moya
February 25 — DJ Plata