Carnitas Don Raúl / 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

Netflix-approved food truck Carnitas Don Raúl is taking on another starring role. Via Instagram, the acclaimed business announced a second location at 16900 Blanco Rd. on the North Side. Beginning August 19, the new operation will heat up weekends from 9 am to 4 pm.

After almost eight years in business, Èilan Hotel and Spa coffee shop Cool Beans Cafe has called it quits. Though the owners said the closure was a “difficult decision,” they did not offer any reason for the move. Hotel guests won’t stay decaffeinated for long, however. A new coffee bar, Third Grind, will soon take over the space.

San Antonio mini-chain Sukhothai Thai Restaurant is welcoming another member to the family. According to Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation records, a new location is in the works at 15082 FM 1957 #112 in Portanco Market. Construction will begin in mid-September and wrap up in December.

It looks like another bar is receiving its flowers in Southtown. A concept called Diez Flores Bar has applied for a mixed beverage permit with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. The 1010 S. Flores address is the former home of Chinese restaurant Bamboo, which announced a move to 226 E. Fest St. in late July.

Other news and notes

Two of San Antonio’s most popular food trucks are teaming up for a one-off menu at Tony’s Siesta. On August 18, Crispy Bao Gang and Chi Chi Birds Hot Chicken will throw down dishes like elote bao and Nashville hot chicken fried rice starting at 6 pm. Then, on August 20, Crispy Bao will fly solo to celebrate its second anniversary, offering fan-favorite bao flights.

Though the theme may not be breaking new ground, San Antonians surely won’t grouse at the return of the Tequila and Tacos Festival at the Tower of the Americas. Tickets are on sale for the October 7 event, which covers 20 drink tickets, a taco bar, and live music.

Mambo Seafood/ Facebook

Latin-inspired seafood, steamy outdoor brews, and a settled lawsuit 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

Out with one seafood chain, in with another. Houston's Mambo Seafood will open its first San Antonio location on April 14, taking over the former locale of Joe's Crab Shack at 4711 NW Loop 410. Guests can expect a Latin twist on maritime cuisine in dishes like seafood tostadas and tilapia chicharrones. Though a variety of fried platters will no doubt satisfy Joe's fans, assumably, the tie-dye will be kept to a minimum.

Though the prospect of being outdoors may strike San Antonians as slightly less appealing than flat Earth theory, Wild Barley Kitchen & Brewery is inviting locals to suck it up at its new outdoor bar. Basecamp, an al fresco addendum to the restaurant's 8403 Broadway St. outpost, serves up the concept's in-house brews and a selection of other sippers. Though the infernal weather may make the opening timing somewhat inopportune, the owners do have experience dealing with high temps. The brand originated as a food truck serving wood-fired bagels.

Broadway corridor sweet shop Laika Cheesecakes & Espresso has baked up a second location at 6626 W. Loop 1604 N. #215 in Alamo Ranch. The new storefront carries the same menu as the Alamo Heights original, including a dozen varieties of its signature Mason jar dessert.

San Antonio's culinary diversity continues to grow with the opening of Wei Chow at 9703 Bandera Rd on the Northwest Side. Currently, the eatery is in an extended soft opening phase, with hours being updated regularly via its social media channels. Guests who can squeeze it into their schedule can expect Taiwanese comfort food like beef noodle soup and chicken spring rolls.

Down the road at 6812 Bandera Rd. #101, Comfort Cafédebuted its third San Antonio location on August 11. The AM favorite, known for a flexible pricing model benefiting recovery program SerenityStar, will be open Friday through Sunday, 8am-4 pm.

After volleying barbs for almost two years, Moses Rose's Hideout owner Vince Cantu has finally agreed to sell the downtown bar. The stalemate started when Alamo officials attempted to purchase the property to make way for the Alamo Visitor Center and Museum. Most recently, the conflict boiled over when the city filed a lawsuit to seize the building under eminent domain. In an agreement painted as "mutual," the concept agreed to vacate the building by August 15.

Via 313/Facebook

Detroit-style pizza, Southtown nightlife, and a new weekend bar 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 regular roundup of essential food news.


A third location of Austin-based chainVia 313 will soon be rolling into San Antonio. According to Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation filings, the Detroit-style pizzeria will begin construction on a new building at 17315 W. I-10 #100 in late September. Construction is set to wrap up in March 2024, barring any delays.

South Presa Street's bustling nightlife corridor will soon have a new addition. TDLR filings reveal that a concept called Palomino Bar will finish renovations in the same strip as Hands Down, Bar Ludavine, and Near Dark. The owners have yet to pony up any details, but the buildout will include a new HVAC system and finishes.

Another nightlife concept will soon be taking over a former Asel Art Supply space. A concept called The Weekend, not to be confused with the slightly creepy pop star, has applied for a mixed beverage permit with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission at 1524 N Main. Although the location is San Antonio's longtime LGBTQIA-plus strip, it's unclear what the vibe will be.

Pet-friendly beer bar Hops and Hounds will soon be sniffing out a new location closer to downtown. Via Instagram, the spot announced it was moving to a new location near Museum Reach in the fall. However, North Siders (and their furry companions) need not worry about finding a new watering hole. New owners will soon transform the original Jones Maltsberger location into a similarly warm-and-fuzzy spot — Pups and Pals.

Medical Center staple Chef's Table Turkish Mediterranean Grill is biting off a new project. In a Facebook post, the restaurant teased a new coffee house coming to 1546 Babcock Rd. The eatery did not include many details, including the estimated opening date, but Turkish Delight will also act as a patisserie specializing in baklava.

Other news and notes

Pearl showpiece Carriqui is launching a new lunch menu on August 8 with dishes like a brisket pastrami on rye sandwich and pecan mole enchiladas and cocktails such as a smoked pineapple mojito and sandía daiquiri. The offerings will be available daily, including Sundays, when the popular group Mariachi Las Coronelas will have an August residency between 11 am-2 pm.

Rendering courtesy of White Lodging

First San Antonio Kimpton hotel unveils over-the-top bar and restaurant concepts


In building construction, topping out is a huge thing. The tradition marking the laying of the highest beam on a structure has a long history of rites from chugging beer to placing a tree atop the roofline. Forest-dwelling spirits, after all, are in constant need of appeasement.

Now that San Antonio's first Kimpton Hotel has hit that all-important milestone, it has chosen to appease a different crowd — the public busybodies thirsting for more information. When the 423 S. Alamo property broke ground in October 2022, developer White Lodging offered scant details. Now, it's leaking details on the hotel's four upcoming concepts.

The marquee space will be an upscale steakhouse settling into the main building of a repurposed 18th-century German-English schoolhouse. Additional historic structures will be used for eight tony guest suites and a shaded courtyard cocktail bar.

More booze will come from another bar focused on whiskey. A rooftop bar, a modern must for any high-end hotel, completes the nightlife picture. Menu details have been promised closer to the opening date.

In addition to the bustling hospitality program, Kimpton will offer plenty of amenities for guests. CultureMap previously reported that the sleek new structure will feature a rooftop pool and more than 11,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space.

With its prime positioning, the hotel will be convenient to some of San Antonio's most popular sites, including the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, River Walk, Alamo Plaza, King William District, La Villita, and Hemisfair.

"This is a pivotal moment not only for Kimpton San Antonio, but the surrounding community," said White Lodging Chief Executive Officer Jean-Luc Barone in a statement. "Together with other surrounding developments, we are creating a new destination district by solidifying the connection from downtown to Southtown."

Kimpton San Antonio

Rendering courtesy of White Lodging

The Kimpton plans include a stunning rooftop lounge.

Aztec Theatre/ Facebook

Aztec Theatre sets the scene on swanky terrace bar


This summer, it will be much easier to grab a drink before taking in a downtown show. According to a social media announcement, the hotly anticipated Aztec Theatre Terrace Bar will open to the public on July 14.

The space is part of an ambitious rework of the 1926 National Register of Historic Places site. The plans for the building were first announced in 2019 and included a separate rooftop event space rentable for private events.

The earliest schematics also converted the top four floors of the Aztec, largely vacant for four decades, into hotel or apartment space. At the time, reps for the ownership group said the team scrapped that idea in favor of utilizing the square footage for office space.

After an early 2020 pandemic pause, ownership group Aztec Family Group LLC, working with local firm Overland Partners and preservation specialists Seventh Generation Design, resuscitated that vision. In 2022, the developers and architects submitted plans to the Historic and Design Review Commission to renovate the space into a 77-room boutique hotel.

The opening of the terrace appears to be the first stage in making the previously private areas of the building into public space. It’s unclear, however, whether it will have regular hours. The Aztec only advertised the space being open 6-10 pm on July 14.

Eventually, however, the complex will incorporate a rooftop bar and restaurant — though details about the type of cuisine and drink program have remained scant. The most recent announcement stated that the phase would be completed by the end of summer 2023.

Photo by TXTroublemaker

Veteran San Antonio bar owners strike a chord with 2 new Southtown concepts

Hey! Ho! Let's Go

Mere days after announcing the shutter of St. Mary’s Strip bar Squeezebox, Aaron Peña is on a blitzkrieg. The Amor Eterno proprietor has teamed up with Roger Herr of Bar Loretta to introduce two new Southtown concepts in the former home of Francis Bogside.

Opening in mid-July, the sibling bars are the first collaboration between the industry vets. The upcoming spots, Forged over a shared love of music, are named in tribute to two of the giants of ‘70s rock.

Gimme Gimme, a reference to Ramones’ 1977 track “Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment,” will fittingly offer a rock ‘n’ roll vibe. Though menu details were not included in the press release, the bar will offer craft cocktails and a full food menu developed by Bar Loretta partners Michael Neff and Paul Petersen, respectively.

“Growing up in San Antonio, I’ve always known our city as the home of rock ‘n’ roll,” explained Herr via a release. “The inspiration for Gimme Gimme comes from wanting to create our own version of what we think a rock ‘n’ roll bar can be. Great music, great food, great cocktails, great service, and always a sense of humor.”

Adjacent to the more raucous environment of Gimme Gimme, A Perfect Day will be a wine-bar offering small bites and batched cocktails. Again, the name draws inspiration from a ‘70s classic — Lou Reed’s similarly named B-side to the eternal “Walk on the Wild Side.”

Though the concepts are a departure for both bar owners, they look forward to bringing an edge to the popular entertainment district.

“Musically, the 14-year-old punk rocker version of my younger self is really excited to help curate the selection of tunes we will feature inside both Gimme Gimme and A Perfect Day,” says Peña. “I think the neighborhood is going to love having an additional late night food and beverage option in the most walkable neighborhood in San Antonio.”

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Here are the top 7 things to do in San Antonio this weekend

Weekend Event Guide

Music and more live entertainment are making a strong case for being out and about in Alamo City for the next few days. See Maluma live in concert, or have a laugh with Deon Cole. For those looking to welcome fall with a bit of flair, Fright Fest returns to Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Check out the top seven things to do in San Antonio this weekend. For a complete list of events, visit our calendar.

Thursday, September 21

Mission Marquee Outdoor Family Film Series: Selena
Enjoy a free screening of the blockbuster 1997 film Selena, starring Jennifer Lopez, on the outdoor silver screen at Mission Marquee Plaza. Guests are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs, blankets, and snacks for the most comfortable movie experience. Additional attractions include food trucks and live entertainment. More information about the film series can be found at missionmarquee.com. This is a pet-friendly and all-ages event.

San Antonio Botanical Garden presents "Lush: Twilight in the Garden"
The after-hours entertainment series at San Antonio Botanical Garden continues. This month’s activities are inspired by the theme "Knight at the Garden" and will include extended garden hours, live music, entertainment, a signature beverage, and an array of floral displays for ambiance. For more information and to snag your tickets, go to sabot.org.

AT&T Center presents Maluma in concert
Latin music sensation Maluma stops by San Antonio’s AT&T Center for one night only. The Colombian voice of hit songs like “HP” and “Felices Los 4” performs live in support of his new album, Don Juan. Go to Ticketmaster for more details.

Friday, September 22

Six Flags Fiesta Texas presents Fright Fest
Six Flags Fiesta Texas undergoes a terrific transformation into the spookiest space in San Antonio with the return of Fright Fest. Park visitors can enjoy nighttime attractions such as haunted houses, scare zones, thrilling rides, and more. Fright Fest programming continues through October 31. Visit sixflags.com for additional information.

Aztec Theatre presents "Deon Cole: My New Normal"
Actor and comedian Deon Cole comes to Aztec Theatre for one night of major rabble-rousing and humor. The Black-ish star and seasoned stand-up comedian makes the stop in San Antonio in support of his My New Normal tour. In addition to his appearances on television, Cole is also known for his comedy specials, including Charleen’s Boy on Netflix. Get tickets on Live Nation.

Saturday, September 23

Ballet San Antonio presents "Ballet in the Park"
Art in motion is set against the backdrop of the night sky at this special Ballet San Antonio event. "Ballet in the Park" is a two-part evening that includes a free children’s ballet class and a live performance by the company’s professional dancers. Admission to the show is free and open to the public.

Hill Country Council for the Arts presents Boerne BierFest
Venture out to Boerne for a day of Texas beer with German-inspired festivities at the Agricultural Museum and Arts Center. BierFest highlights include live music from headliner Gary P. Nunn, traditional strength competitions, a live auction, art displays, food, and more. Attendees will also get to sample from more than 30 Texan craft breweries with a commemorative tasting stein. Festival information and ticketing details can be found at hccarts.org. For those looking for an elevated experience, VIP packages are also available.

Maluma / Facebook

Maluma performs live at the AT&T Center on September 21.

San Antonio foundation pounces on bold program to return ocelots to the wild


In Texas, wildlife conservation is far from a simple equation. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, over 93 percent of the state is privately owned, including vital habitats for big cats. Balancing protection measures with the desires of landowners requires a deft hand.

Still, one San Antonio nonprofit is hoping it has found the right formula for ocelot recovery. The East Foundation, a local ranching operation and agricultural research organization, is proposing the Programmatic Safe Harbor Agreement with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, to support reintroducing species into the wild. A 30-day public comment period began September 15.

Following the proposal, the East Foundation will release ocelots onto a section of its San Antonio Viejo Ranch in Jim Hogg and Starr Counties — an area marked as unoccupied ocelot habitat. Landowners in neighboring counties can voluntarily sign up to allow the cats passage on their acres, exempting them from future conservation activities.

Working with the Recover Texas Ocelots project, East Foundation has assembled large amounts of data on ocelots, ranging from prey habits to behavior with other carnivores. This research informed the organization's conservation strategy.

The need for protection is dire. The distinctively spotted wild cats have been officially listed as endangered since 1982. The state's sole breeding populations live in far South Texas, where much land is devoted to ranching.

"The largest population of ocelots remaining in Texas (and, by extension, the United States) occupies East Foundation ranch land in Willacy County," explains Dr. Jason Sawyer, Chief Science Officer for the East Foundation, via a release. Several estimates place that population between 50 and 100.

"So, we have demonstrated that good land stewardship associated with normal ranching activities is not in conflict with ocelot recovery," he continued, "and we want to continue ranching operations while also providing an opportunity to expand these populations."

Plan details and other conservation efforts can be found online. Comments will be accepted through October 16, with full specifics available at the Federal Register.

"The assurances provided in the Agreement offer a path for lasting and effective partnerships that accomplish conservation goals while removing the barriers that have historically impeded these efforts," said Neal Wilkins, Chief Executive Officer for the East Foundation. "We are excited to lead an effort like this in South Texas, where we successfully operate, and where wildlife conservation and ranching have been vitally important for more than 100 years."

Amazon goes on holiday hiring spree with 2.6k open positions in San Antonio

Holiday News

Soon the holidays will be here, and that means an influx of seasonal work from Amazon, which is on a holiday hiring spree.

According to a release, the company is hiring 250,000 employees throughout the U.S. in full-time, seasonal, and part-time roles across its operations network.

More than 28,000 of those will be in Texas with nearly half — 13,000 employees — to be hired in Dallas-Fort Worth. (Houston will be hiring more than 5,100, Austin more than 4,100, and San Antonio more than 2,600 workers. Waco gets 1,700-plus new positions, and El Paso, more than 300.)

Those include a diverse range of roles, from packing and picking to sorting and shipping, available to applicants from all backgrounds and experience levels.

Customer fulfillment and transportation employees can earn, on average, over $20.50 per hour for those roles, and up to $28 depending on location. Interested candidates can see hiring locations and open positions at amazon.com/apply.

"The holiday season is always a special time at Amazon and we’re excited to hire 250,000 additional people this year to help serve customers across the country," says Amazon SVP John Felton. "Whether someone is looking for a short-term way to make extra money, or is hoping to take their first step toward a fulfilling and rewarding career at Amazon, there’s a role available for them."

According to Felton, a fulfillment or transportation employee who starts today will see a 13 percent increase in pay over the next three years, on top of offerings like pre-paid college tuition and health care benefits on day one.

Jobs in Amazon’s operations network include: stowing, picking, packing, sorting, shipping customer orders, and more, available in hundreds of cities and towns across the U.S., with a range of full- or part-time hours.

For anyone interested in learning more about what it’s like to work at Amazon, they offer free behind-the-scenes tours to the public at amazontours.com.