Maddy Murphy's Irish Sports Bar/ Facebook

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 downtown pub won't be around to celebrate St. Patrick's Day 2024. Via a September 17 Instagram post, Maddy McMurphy's Irish Sports Bar announced its immediate closure after a five-year run. The watering hole teased the news a few days prior, promoting a "Last Hurrah" party on September 15. Neither bulletin offered any explanation for the move. Sibling concepts in owner Terry Corless' portfolio, including Mad Dogs British Pub and Prost Haus, will continue to operate.

Local fast-casual joint Biff Buzby's Burgers observed National Cheeseburger Day by announcing a second location. The outpost will be located at the former site of the short-lived Windmill Ice House on 2769 Nacogdoches Rd., confirming the latter's July temporary closure was permanent. Judging by Facebook photos, Biff Buzby's is nearing completion, though the owners weren't quite ready to declare an opening date. They did share that the original location's popular car shows would not be revving up at the new space.

Drive-thru coffee shop 7 Brew is also in expansion mode. A press release spilled the beans on an upcoming second San Antonio location at 6202 North I-35 Frontage Rd. The Arkansas-based company opened its first local outlet in July, introducing the Alamo City market to original creations like the Smooth 7, a white chocolate and Irish cream breve. The new location will host soft opening events September 22-29, leading up to the September 30 grand opening.

Other news and notes

While America's craft beer industry is struggling, Alamo Beer Co. is making a bold move. The Eastside brewery is merging with VIVA Beer, according to a release. The move will allow the latter to grow the brand in San Antonio and beyond.

Embracing the de facto return of fall, if not the return of crisp weather, the food scene is preparing for a flurry of events. The Big Red & Barbacoa Festival has announced the dates for its 11th year. Single-day tickets start at $10 and are available online.

Can't wait until October for festival season? The San Antonio Brunch Festival runs from 11am to 3 pm on September 23. More than a dozen local eateries will be participating, offering unlimited bites. Tickets, ranging from $85-$150, are no longer available online but will be available at the door. More details are available here.

The University of Texas San Antonio's popular Ven a Comercelebration returns on September 29. Several activities are planned to support UTSA's renowned Mexican cookbook collection, including a series of dinners at Mixtli, a DIY cookbook workshop, a community pachanga, and a party at Carriqui. As always, the event's showcase will be a fundraising dinner on September 29 featuring local chefs Alexana Cabrera and Sofia Tejeda, mezcalero Pedro Jimenez Gurria, and James Bears Award winner Iliana de la Vega of Austin's El Naranjo.

Ladino is marking its first anniversary with a grill-out party on October 1. The shindig will feature unlimited bites, a live DJ, and games for $40. Cocktails will be available for purchase.

Bellagreen/ Facebook

Green eats, kicking coffee, and migratory mangonadas spice up San Antonio food news


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

Dallas fast-casual concept Bellagreen will soon be heading to San Antonio. According to filings with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, the "American bistro" will be the second hospitality tenant at the Jefferson Building at 1900 Broadway, the home of hotly anticipated sushi restaurantNineteen Hyaku. Similar to other new additions to the local chain scene, like Seasons 52 and Postino, Bellagreen offers an eclectic mix of upmarket quick cuisine — including Wagyu burgers, brick chicken, and hemp flour empanadas. State records set the completion date in April 2024.

Bucking against the stereotype that Alamo City is a sleepy town, yet another caffeine carpetbagger is landing on local soil. Via a press release, Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii announced plans to open five new locations in San Antonio, joining out-of-towners Black Rock Coffee Bar, Dutch Bros. Coffee, and PJs Coffee of New Orleans in the race siphon off Starbucks' gas. Company officials, however, did not share the neighborhoods it was targeting for a spring debut.

Snack shop Big Daddy's Eats and Treats has shuttered its Cevallos Street location, but locals need not get into a stew. Via Instagram, owner Jaime Morales explained that the business is temporarily operating out of Burgerteca, located a few blocks from the original outpost. The stopgap move will give diners access to desperately needed raspas while Morales converts one of the complex's silos into a forever home.

Other news and notes

Adelita Tamales & Tortilla Factory has reopened after a car crashed through its building on September 9. In a Facebook update, the 85-year-old business shared that it quickly partitioned off the damaged portion of the building to allow some production to resume. However, the corn tortilla machine, which took the brunt of the collision, remains inoperable.

Popular Tastemade personality Frank Celenza is taking a detour through River City for his latest show, Worth the Hype. The series dives into some of the most buzzworthy restaurants to learn the secrets behind their signature dishes. The San Antonio stop includes visits to Alebrije, Box Street All Day, Curry Boys BBQ, and Ray's Drive Inn.

Ahead of its October launch, Make Ready Market is offering a sneak peek of four of its upcoming concepts on September 22 at Three Star Bar. The pop-up will feature bites and brews from Buje, Eet-up, Idle Brewing, and Pescado Bravo for a $10 ticket. Proceeds will benefit Slow Boogie's, an altruistic root beer trailer providing jobs for Eastside youth.

20 area nonprofits are rising to GroupRaise Krispy Kreme Back-to-School Fall Fundraising Challenge. The nationwide competition invites locals to support their favorite charities by purchasing a dozen (or more) glazed doughnuts from midnight to 11:59 pm on September 14. A portion of the sales will be donated to participating organizations, and the top 10 doughnut slingers will get an additional donation.

Photo by TX TroubleMaker

A classic bar's Irish goodbye, free açaí bowls, and a relocated taco joint land in San Antonio food news

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 weekly roundup of essential food news.

Openings and closings

The music may have died at long-running East Side bar Tucker's Kozy Korner. Bands who were set to perform at an August 25 Mission DIY showcase, including Violent Practice and Eastern Condors, shared on social media that the show was canceled because the owner "wants to close down permanently effective immediately." The San Antonio Currentbroke the news and found the building locked multiple times during normal operating hours. No official statement has been made on the bar's social media, which has been dark since late July.

In brighter East Side news, acclaimed street food joint Milpa has found a new home at the former location of The Pour Box at 419 S. Hackberry St. The acclaimed restaurant, helmed by Chopped-winning chef Jesse "Kirk" Kuykendall closed its Olmos Park location earlier in the year to prepare for the transition. The new site, next to the Dakota East Side Ice House, is set to be operational by November.

Fruity New Jersey-based chainPlaya Bowls is opening its first Helotes store on September 9 at 9708 Business Parkway. The outpost will give away free açaí bowls, t-shirts, and swag to its first 50 guests to celebrate its grand opening. The opening starts at 10 am, but San Antonians who are really serious about getting those prizes should consider arriving early.

Other news and notes

Dracula Fest will once again put San Antonio under its spell when it returns to Rosedale Park on October 14. Though the name nods to the literary bloodsucker, latter-day slayers need not be alarmed. The fest's focus will be Romanian culture, with food vendors, artisans, and folk musicians on hand between 11 am and 8 pm.

Shake Shack is bringing some late summer heat via its fan-favorite Hot Menu. Scoville scale chart-toppers include a spicy Shackmeister burger dusted with a hot pepper blend and cheese fries with ranch sauce. The promotion runs September 8 through January 8, 2024 — but the burger can be ordered now exclusively through the chain's app.


A Broadway seafood joint's ghosting and a coffee shop's new haunt spook San Antonio food news


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

Near-downtown seafood joint Señor Fish has abruptly shuttered after a little more than two years in business. Though the owners did not issue an official statement, the concept’s Facebook and Instagram profiles have been deleted, and the Google Business profile lists it as permanently closed. Signage for a new concept called Ay Caramba has popped up at the 1915 Broadway address with an Instagram account promising an imminent opening.

Farther into the city core, Broadway Delicatessen has also hung up its apron. According to a Facebook post, the spot will stay open until the first week of September or until supplies run out. The owners did not share the reason behind the decision.

Spine-tingling caffeine slingers Gravves Coffee have revealed the opening date for a brick-and-mortar. The new shop will first welcome guests at 2106 McCullough Ave. on September 2 — just in time for spooky season. Vampires should beware, however. Currently, the business is only advertising daytime hours between 8 am and 2 pm.

Recent Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation filings are abuzz with restaurant expansion news. First up is local mini-chainStout House. The sudsy concept will soon begin construction on its fifth location at La Picosa at Brook’s City Base. According to records, the outpost will debut with two patios when construction wraps up in June 2024.

Instant Donuts is expecting a third addition to the family. The business, surely the subject of many Homer Simpson daydreams, filed paperwork for a new location at 14124 Culebra Rd #116. The build is set to be completed by December.

Other news and notes

The newly spiffed-up San Antonio locations of Piatti have introduced brunch. On Saturdays and Sundays starting September 2, guests can day drink between 10 am and 3 pm. The menu includes lemon ricotta pancakes, poached eggs on polenta, and boozy temptations like a limoncello bellini.

Carnitas Don Raúl / Facebook

New Northside carnitas and a blooming Southtown bar, plus more top stories

Hot headlines

Editor's note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. From craft beer to a space institute, here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. New Northside carnitas, a blooming Southtown bar, and hot collabs sizzle in San Antonio food news. Our weekly roundup of essential food news includes a Netflix-approved food truck's new location, a coffee shop calling it quits, a taco-and-tequila fest, and more.

2. Twin Liquors brings back popular weekend 'Dollar Sale' in San Antonio. Twin Liquors, a family-owned store based in Texas, has brought back its annual "Dollar Sale" to local stores, August 24-26. Hey, that's right now.

3. Texas university to build new $200 million institute for space exploration in Houston. Texas A&M University is building a new institute in Houston focused on aerospace: Called the Texas A&M Space Institute, it'll be constructed next to NASA's Johnson Space Center, with a goal of ensuring that Texas remains a leader in space exploration.

4. What’s brewing in San Antonio: Vista Brewing makes a comeback while 2 others close. Here's our roundup of everything that's hopping in local beer right now, from a reopened taproom to a couple of unfortunate closures.

5. 24 fast-growing San Antonio companies earn spots on coveted Inc. 5000 list. Two dozen San Antonio-based companies have undergone explosive growth in revenue over the last few years, with one such business landing in the top 200 of the prestigious 2023 Inc. 5000 list.

The Dooryard/ Facebook

Craft beer closures, a mystery sneaker bar, and taco troubles wrap up San Antonio food news


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

America's waning interest in craft beer has claimed another local casualty. Following three years in business, Northside self-serve taproom The Dooryard plans to shutter. In a social media statement, the owners painted the closure as a hiatus, promising an eventual return to the San Antonio scene. After a karaoke party and steak night, the team will bow out on August 26.

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission filings reveal an intriguing new concept. According to records, a concept called Kicking It has applied for a mixed beverage permit at a former Mattress Firm location at 842 NW Loop 410 #103. The ownership records link it with the Austin sneaker shop of the same name, a lifestyle brand known for Nikes, not Negronis.

Tex-Mex stapleBlanco Café is moving out of its longtime home at 419 N. Saint Mary's St., but it won't be out of the downtown scene for long. According to Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation records, the spot is renovating a space in the Dalkowitz Dry Goods Building at 201 W Commerce St. #105. The new café will dish out enchiladas by February 2024, barring any construction delays.

Broadway Veracruzian restaurant Fonda Nostra Bistró appears to have shuttered. The San Antonio Current first noticed that the restaurant had updated its Facebook page status to "permanently closed" in early August. It's unclear whether the former food truck will continue operating in a scaled-back capacity. No statement has been posted on social media, and CultureMap could not reach the owners via phone.

Other news and notes

The notable gastronomes at Real Estate Witch caused a citywide eye-roll on August 18 by ranking Austin as the best taco city in America. Furthering the indignity, the site ranked San Antonio as a paltry No. 4. To determine the results, the study crunched numbers from Yelp, Google Trends, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, assessing metrics such as average star ratings, the cost of making tacos once a week, and the "average price of an assortment of taco foods." Notably absent was any discussion about taste or quality, but the baby-rich diet of witches is hardly mainstream.

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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.