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Journey to Bahama Buck’s for a ‘mini vacation’

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Bahama Buck’s features some 100 different flavors of shaved ice, including sweet and sour and sugar-free. Customers can mix several flavors like cherry and blue coconut (pictured). Photos by Collette Orquiz

Paradise is just a spoonful away at Bahama Buck’s, said franchise owner Marc Ruiz.

Known for its shaved ice, the store with the motto “Surf, sun, sno” wants to deliver a relaxed atmosphere with multiple flavor combinations.

“We’re trying to provide the best tropical-dessert experience, or we actually call it a mini vacation,” Ruiz said.

The shop opened several months ago at 7022 S. New Braunfels Ave. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the drive-thru is open and delivery is available using third-party services.

Though the state has given food establishments the go-ahead to open dining rooms at 25 percent capacity, Ruiz said he’s keeping the lobby closed while considering walk-in orders.

“I’d love to open back up, but I just want to make sure that customers and employees are safe,” he said.

Ruiz has worked in the restaurant industry for three decades, including a four-year stint at another Bahama Buck’s before opening his own shop.

Raised on the South Side, Ruiz is giving back to the community through fundraisers and events.

“I thought bringing it to the South Side of San Antonio would be nice,” he said. “They’re always the last ones to get the good stuff, even though they make just as much money or work just as hard as everybody else.”

Bahama Buck’s, founded in Lubbock by Blake Buchanan in 1990, features some 100 shaved flavors; popular are blue coconut, strawberry, cherry, tiger’s blood, mango and watermelon.

Beverages include smoothies, lemonades, sodas and Frostalattés, a blended coffee drink. Fruit cups and hot chocolate are seasonal treats.

“Without all the COVID-19 stuff, we normally have games out so we try to get people to … put your phone down for a little bit and interact with each other,” Ruiz said. “It’s what we like to see: kids coming in with parents and playing games and stuff.”

Hours are noon to 10 p.m. daily.

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