Cheyenne Cisneros

Little Flower Basilica will present the Basilica Bazaar, featuring unique buys from local vendors. Visitors can shop for jewelry, decor, arts, crafts and more.


Spanish fashion giant picks La Cantera for first San Antonio store


The Shops at La Cantera will soon be bearing more fruit. According to a Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), Spanish fashion giant Mango is building its first San Antonio store.

State records show the 4,461 square feet store will land at 15900 La Cantera Pkwy #8850 — the former site of shuttered tween retailer Justice. Behind the build is New York-based DOMO Architecture, the firm responsible for the splashy 2017 rework of the brand’s Soho flagship.

The $800,000 renovation is set to begin in April and wrap up in July. Neither leasing firm Brookfield Properties nor Mango corporate responded to a request for a targeted opening date, though assumably, the store will welcome its first guests before the end of the year.

Founded in Barcelona, Mango is a leader in fast fashion, often compared to another Shops of La Cantera tenant, Zara. Though pricing is relatively affordable, its menswear and womenswear lines are often cited for using higher quality fabrics and more exact tailoring. Styling leans more classic, relying less on the microtrends embraced by comparable shops.

Though nearly ubiquitous in Europe and Asia, Mango is a relative newcomer to the U.S. brick-and-mortar market. Its first foray on domestic shores was with the Soho shop in 2006. Since then, the company has been slow to build permanent homes — even while amping up omnichannel distribution online and through partnerships with Macy’s, Nordstrom, and others.

2022, however, saw a shift in direction, starting with the May opening of a vast Fifth Avenue flagship. In an October 2022 press release about its Florida expansion, the company also revealed that it was heading west with planned outposts in Georgia, California, and Texas.

Eventually, Mango plans to have 40 U.S. stores operating by 2024 and to grow the market to its top five in terms of turnover. The race will be to see which city gets the first Mango store. TDLR records also show a location planned in Friendswood, also to be completed in July.

Meanwhile, the Shops at La Cantera continues to position itself as San Antonio’s premier shopping destination. Gucci debuted its first standalone accessories shop at the development in December 2022. Whimsical jeweler Gorjana and eyewear behemoth Ray Ban also have boutiques on the way.

Photo courtesy of James Avery

Surprise your valentine with thoughtful jewelry from James Avery

The Perfect Gift

Want to get it right this Valentine's Day? You can't go wrong with jewelry, especially James Avery Artisan Jewelry.

Proudly crafted in the Texas Hill Country since 1954, James Avery rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and charms become something more for those who wear them. Each piece is inspired by the most precious things in life: love, family, and friendship.

With that in mind, here are three suggestions for the perfect Valentine's Day gift:

Put a ring on it
From colorful enameled designs like the Connected Hearts Ring to sweet sentiments found in styles like the Love You More Ring, there are so many ways to show your love.

A ring is a gift they’ll wear every day — make it even sweeter with an engraved message to let your valentine know they're always on your mind.

Whether your loved one prefers sterling silver or 14k gold, colorful or classic designs, each piece is handcrafted to tell a unique love story.

A dozen roses
Just like your love, these pretty petals never fade. Delicately crafted in sterling silver or 14K gold, these rose designs are forever blooming.

Give a twist on the traditional bouquet with the delicately crafted Small Rose Ring, inspired by the beauty and wonder of nature and the universal symbol of love and courtship.

Charmed, I'm sure
Charm the one you love with tiny mementos that stand alone beautifully or in a treasured collection.

James Avery charms offer a way to always carry reminders of the people and experiences we hold dear, and are designed for both bracelets and necklaces.

Add to your sweetheart's medley of memories or start a new jewelry journey with the all-important first charm.

Shop James Avery now to find a Valentine’s gift that expresses your feelings straight from the heart.

James Avery rings

Photo courtesy of James Avery

Each ring is handcrafted to tell a unique story.

Courtesy of Gucci

Luxe Italian designer Gucci debuts San Antonio boutique, 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. Luxe Italian designer Gucci debuts first San Antonio boutique at La Cantera. In time for the holidays, Gucci has unwrapped a new outpost at The Shops at La Cantera, marking its eighth boutique in Texas.

2. 9 festive San Antonio restaurants open for Christmas Day cheer. Take the fuss out of the festivities with these local restaurants serving up Christmas feasts.

3. New Camp Margaritaville RV resort makes waves on the Texas coast. Formerly known as Bolivar Beach Club & RV Resort, the new resort-style camping experience is bursting with amenities for a memorable vacation.

4. Here are the top 5 things to do in San Antonio this weekend. The next few days are packed with magical moments, live music, and alpaca appearances.

5. Cinemark movie chain opens San Antonio theater for college football playoffs. This postseason, fans can catch three of the biggest games on the big screen right here in San Antonio.

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Affluent Texas city tops list of most lavish holiday spending budgets in U.S.

Santa Baby

As the most wonderful time of the year approaches, holiday shopping budgets are in the spotlight, and a study from WalletHub puts one affluent Texas city on the "nice list," where Santa doesn't need a whole lot of help.

According to WalletHub, the Dallas-Fort Worth suburb of Flower Mound boasts a jolly big holiday budget of $3,531 per person this year — the third highest in the U.S.

Each year, WalletHub calculates the maximum holiday budget for over 550 U.S. cities "to help consumers avoid post-holiday regret," the website says. The study factors in income, age of the population, and other financial indicators such as debt-to-income ratio, monthly-income-to monthly-expenses ratio and savings-to-monthly-expenses ratio.

Despite nationwide focus on inflation strains, holiday spending is expected to be healthy, and higher than last year.

"The seeming social upheaval in recent times may lead households to spend more in an attempt to take some control of the environment which they can control," says Robert Wright, University of Illinois, Springfield professor emeritus who was among five experts consulted for advice about holiday shopping.

While Flower Mound was the only Texas city in the top 10, there's plenty of Lone Star holiday cheer to be found in the report. In total, 15 Texas cities landed in this year's top 100 heftiest holiday budgets:

  • Flower Mound, No. 3, $3,531
  • Cedar Park, No. 14, $2,855
  • Sugar Land, No. 15, $2,793
  • Allen, No. 17, $2,670
  • League City, No. 20, $2,541
  • Pearland, No. 36, $2,172
  • Frisco, No. 37, $2,150
  • McKinney, No. 45, $2,070
  • Plano, No. 50, $1,999
  • Carrollton, No. 55, $1,837
  • Richardson, No. 58, $1,823
  • The Woodlands, No. 71, $1,733
  • Austin, No. 78, $1,705
  • North Richland Hills, No. 81, $1,658
  • Lewisville, No. 90, $1,630

Among Texas' major cities, Austin boasts the biggest holiday budget by far, while San Antonio has the smallest, at $803 per person (No. 431). Fort Worth ranked No. 318 with a budget of $986; Houston landed at No. 366 with a budget of $890; and Dallas ranked No. 401 with an average holiday budget of $845.

Finally, at No. 553, with a budget of $487, sits the Rio Grande Valley city of Pharr. It's the lowest-ranked Texas city and comes in just a few spots ahead of last-place Hartford, Connecticut, with a budget of only $211.

Hemisfair Holiday in the Garden & Holiday Gift Market

Hemisfair will present its annual Holiday in the Garden. Bridging holidays traditions, the event will capture the spirit of Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah with Santa and his reindeer, holiday crafts, Story Time, food and beverages, shopping at the Hemisfair Holiday Gift Market, live music and REAL snow.

The Hemisfair Holiday Gift Market will take place on both December 10 and 11.

Ad Placement 300x100
Ad Placement 300x600

CultureMap Emails are Awesome

San Antonio rent prices increased 7 percent from 2022, 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 rent prices increased 7 percent from 2022, report finds. Despite rent increases showing small improvements month-over-month, overall prices in the San Antonio area are still on the high side from the previous year.

2. Popular San Antonio doggy daycare opens new location in Alamo Ranch. The award-winning Dogtopia has gained so much love from the local community thanks to its thoughtful design approach and programming.

3. Bask in local artistry with the inaugural San Marcos Studio Tour in April. The inaugural, self-guided San Marcos Studio Tour will feature more than 50 artists all across San Marcos and the surrounding area.

4. Own a piece of Utopia with this Hill Country riverfront retreat listed for $2.5M. This secluded, tree-filled, riverfront estate boasts nine guest cabins and "the Fortress," a historic lodge that can sleep 12 guests.

5. Blockbuster Western art exhibition and sale stampedes into San Antonio. The Briscoe Western Art Museum's annual Night of Artists Exhibition and Sale returns to San Antonio March 24 through 25.

These 6 San Antonio brunch spots are worth a return visit (or two)

brunch hunches

Anyone who says magic doesn't exist clearly hasn't snagged a coveted reservation at the Box Street Social for brunch. It's one of the local spots that nails that sacred ritual, brunch with the besties: a magical experience where Monday doesn't exist and stress is forbidden.

Here are some of our top local brunch spots that'll leave both your appetite and your soul satiated (even when Monday actually hits.)

Box St. All Day
Not only does Box St. All Day look like the dreams that Instagram reels are made of, it's got a high quality menu to match, courtesy of chef and co-owner Edward Garcia III. The all-day brunch restaurant (at 623 Hemisfair Blvd, Ste 108) offers hearty options like strawberry cheesecake French toast, steak-eggs and frites (the fries alone are dangerously delicious), the Box St. Brekky sandwich made with house-made bread, and more. Pair your meal with one of its cute coffees, cocktails, or zero-proof cocktails, and save room for plenty of pictures with your brunch buddies before you leave — the details in the decor have a sophisticated feminine flair, thanks to Box Street's innovative creative director Caroline Garcia-Bowman. Reserve on Toast.

Full Belly
Tucked away in its own cozy corner of the world in the Stone Oak/1604 area is Full Belly Cafe + Bar. Where else can you order a plate of pecan pie French toast while gazing at an incredible hand-painted mural of classic animated characters like Jessica Rabbit, Marvin Martian, Stewie Griffin and more brunching together? Executive chef James Moore also serves up plenty of savory brunch options if you don't have a sweet tooth, like the pork belly benny or a baked eggs and toast plate with roasted garlic and thyme cream. Reserve at fullbellysa.com.

Did you know that Chef Kirk of Ocho, Hotel Havana's in-house restaurant, is the only local chef to win an episode of Food Network's Chopped? Brunch at Ocho is also a photo-worthy experience, where brunch items like pan de platano (banana bread), plantain cakes con carnitas (plantain pancakes), and more are served up to guests with a side of San Antonio sunlight, given that Ocho is located in a beautiful (and air-conditioned!) glass conservatory. Reserve on Resy.

The Hayden
The Smoke Shack might be the best spot to get your brisket fix on Broadway, but The Hayden is the spot to be for brunch. You can't miss The Hayden's classic retro sign right in the center of The Boardwalk on Broadway. The interior lives up to the welcoming feel of a Jewish deli, complete with menu options from executive chef Bill Corbett like fried chicken and latke waffles, or a bagel and lox. And don't worry — if you're craving the comfort of pancakes, The Hayden's got you covered with The Hayden pancake stack, among other options. Reserve at buzztable.com.

Vegan Avenue on Main
Chef Griselda Muñoz's entirely vegan menu will make believers even out of the most dedicated meat eaters. The cinnamon roll "bettermilk" pancakes have to be tasted to be believed. (Yes, even the sweet cream in the pancake is dairy free!) If you're missing a classic breakfast sandwich but trying to stay meat-free, try Vegan Avenue's "Honee-Butter Chick'n sandwich" with vegan eggs and crispy, fried plant-based chicken. If you're not near Vegan Avenue but craving its vegan breakfast tacos, you can also get your fix at Vegan Avenue's sister restaurant on TPC Parkway, Plantology. Reserve at squareup.com.

One of the best hair-of-the-dog cocktails in town is Barbaro's delicious Garibaldi, a simple concoction of Campari and orange juice, but you can't go wrong with the "Keep It Coming" Bloody Mary bar and Mimosas: For $15, you can alternate between the two until you've had your fill. Soak up Saturday night with eggs Barbaro (two poached eggs on homemade focaccia, Benton's country ham, hollandaise, and spinach) or dive into a skillet pancake (whipped lemon ricotta and seasonal berries, plus extra fine bacon, ricotta salata, and maple syrup).

The 8 best bars in San Antonio have the right mix


Though it's easy to quaff a decent cocktail almost anywhere in Texas, San Antonio's watering holes offer a little something special. Maybe it's the friendliness of the patrons trading rounds with complete strangers. Maybe it's the prescience of the bartenders who know hundreds of regulars' orders. That generosity of spirit is found at almost every spot in town.

But the best of the best mix in something extra — inventive flavor profiles, enveloping atmosphere, and an "it" factor that is hard to define. But we know it when we drink it — we've seen it in all the nominees CultureMap Tastemaker Award for Bar of the Year perhaps too many times.

So, we salute the unassuming dive bars, the swanky lounges, and happy hour haunts. Alamo City wouldn't be half as fun without them. Join us in raising a glass to our finalists below, then pop a cork as we name the winner at the Jack Guenther Pavilion at the Briscoe Museum on May 18. Buy tickets now before they sell out.

Amor Eterno
It's there in the name. This Southtown lounge delivers everlasting romance courtesy of velvet curtains, fuchsia lighting, and orchids languishing on the edge of coupes. The atmosphere gets a little steamier after a couple Bella Noche shots. Suddenly, disco thumps through the speakers, inamoratos file in, and the back booth becomes the most inviting spot in Alamo City.

Bar Loretta
At many upscale restaurants, the cocktail menu is an afterthought. List a serviceable Old Fashioned, add a martini, and call it a day. Not so at this endearing Southtown spot. Though guests can certainly swan with a Gatsby-era Mint Julep, the originals really bring the fireworks. A Lucinda Williams homage, Junebug vs. Hurricane, balances strawberries with Peychaud's bitters. Mariachi Static burns the house down with a dash (or three) of hot sauce.

George's Keep
The three-martini lunch may be a thing of the past, but still, the Éilan Hotel's resident bar knows how to get down to business. Leather banquettes and hunter-green wainscoting set the scene for some hard bargaining of what patrons will order next. Heady tipples like George's signature mix of VSOP Cognac, Cointreau, and lemon keep the deals flowing, even if they are just on Ameritrade.

Hotel Havana - Havana Bar and Ocho
This artfully designed downtown property knows a thing or two about chiaroscuro. The darkness comes from the dimly lit basement at Havana Bar, where peccadillos slink into the shadows. Blazing light illuminates Ocho upstairs, refracted through the turquoise accented panes of a glass conservatory. All revelers have to do is follow their mood.

La Ruina
In a tequila-obsessed town, this East Side hideaway has made a name by focusing on rum. Former Modernist owners Gerry Shirley and Olaf Harmel stir up a vacation's worth of concoctions, from tiki classics like Mai Tais to Brazilian bombshells like Caipirinhas. Steal the tropically wallpapered booth if you can get it. Rum was meant for languor.

Don't be surprised if you see the occasional cat slumbering at this louche East Side bar. Felines know a thing or two about posh surrounds. Guests will purr just as loudly over co-owner Benjamin Krick's sly barcraft. The back bar is an apothecary stocked with hard-to-find European spirits, cordials, and fortified wines — all used in some of the most unexpected cocktails in the city.

The Moon's Daughters
Perched atop the glittering Thompson Hotel, this rooftop lounge is usually recommended for the breathtaking downtown view. The interior offers just as much scenery. San Antonio's see-and-be-seen set sprawl on the luxe furniture, sipping CBD-infused cocktails and nibbling Mediterranean bites. The hospitality program isn't all just for show, of course, but it never hurts to gild the lily.

Three Star Bar
As much fun as it is to clink Baccarat, most days, we'd rather crush cans. For a weekday drink, it's hard to beat the wood-paneled slump of a neighborhood bar. This Grayson Street dive lets guests loosen their belts over craft beers and shots. The new ownership — Los Angeles-based Pouring With Heart — tinkered a bit with the drink menu but kept the meat and potatoes.

Amor Eterno San Antonio

Photo by TX Troublemaker

It's all about love at Amor Eterno