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LOCAL LOWDOWN-North Central

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A significant portion of North St. Mary's Street in Tobin Hill is undergoing road improvements. Courtesy photo/City of San Antonio

OPEN AND OPENING SOON

LAIKA CHEESECAKE & ESPRESSO, 4718 Broadway in Alamo Heights, sells a variety of the dessert by the slice or in reusable glass jars. The shop is named after the dog Laika, one of the first animals in space. Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more, call 210-462-6981 or visit facebook.com/laikacheesecakes.

LANDSHARK BAR & GRILL, 849 E. Commerce St. in the Shops at Rivercenter, is a new dining spot serving street tacos, salads, seafood, burgers and more with signature cocktails, LandShark draft beer, and frozen drinks. Hours are noon to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more, call 210-556-1790 or visit https://sanantonio.landsharkbarandgrill.com.

LITTLE RHEIN PROST HAUS, 231 S. Alamo St., has opened in the spot once occupied by Little Rhein Steak House, which operated on the River Walk since 1967. Little Rhein Prost Haus sports a Bavarian/Oktoberfest menu. Hours are noon to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. For more, call 210-890-2225 or visit https://www.littlerheinprosthaus.com. 

MAMA’S CAFE, 2442 Nacogdoches Road, is reopening this spring after being closed since mid-2019 for renovations. Original owner/founder Cappy Lawton is back as the operator alongside his son and business partner, Trevor. The Lawton family launched the restaurant in 1981, but others ran it at times. Hours will be 4-10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. For more, call 210-826-8303 or visit https://www.mamascafesa.com.

Laika Cheesecake & Espresso recently opened shop in Alamo Heights. Courtesy photo/Laika Cheesecake

PHARM TABLE, 611 S. Presa St., Suite 106, has relocated to Southtown “to share plant-forward meals that are locally sourced, globally inspired and promote an overall better quality of life,” according to the eatery’s website. There are cocktails, zero-proof drinks, natural wines, and beers, too. A patio is open with COVID-19 protocols enforced. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for Sunday brunch/lunch; closed Monday and Tuesday. For more, call 210-802-1860 or visit www.pharmtable.com.

TIDY BEN’S, 713 S. Alamo St., has opened a permanent Southtown location at Jokesters22 offering plant-based sloppy Joes for pickup or delivery. Hours are 5-10 p.m. Wednesday and Friday, and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday. For more, call 210-364-1678 or visit www.tidybens.com.

PEARL STUDIO, 300 E. Grayson St., Suite 100, located in the building topped by the iconic Pearl can and adjacent to Bike World, is a photography and video studio for rent. Dressing rooms, loading ramp, high-speed internet, and other amenities for creative endeavors are available. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. For more, visit atpearl.com/work/pearl-studio; for prices, email studio@pearlbrewery.com. 

DRAGON FOREST AT THE SAN ANTONIO ZOO, 3903 N. St. Mary’s St. in Brackenridge Park, is an immersive, separately ticketed experience on the west side of U.S. 281 North with fantasy elements including dragons, renaissance-fair-themed food, merchandise and entertainment, including a live falconry show. Daily hours, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., begin May 29. For more, visit https://sazoo.org/zoo-events/dinos-and-dragons.

DOMINGO RESTAURANT AND OTRO BAR, 123 N. St. Mary’s St., are featured at Canopy by Hilton San Antonio Riverwalk. Domingo focuses on South Texas and Southwest cuisine for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night bites. Otro has appetizers and tacos with a drink menu featuring agave-based cocktails, craft beers, wine, and nonalcoholic cocktail options. For more, call 210-404-7516 or visit www.domingorestaurant.com. 

COMMONWEALTH COFFEEHOUSE & BAKERY, 118 Davis Court, reopened with modified interior and exterior seating areas, plus beer and wine menu additions. Also, serving homemade pastries, French cafe fare, and espresso drinks. Hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. For more, call 210-560-2955 or visit http://commonwealthcoffeehouse.com.

DEVILS RIVER WHISKEY, 401 E. Houston St., opened its taproom to the public in March, followed by an April 22 grand opening. The distillery is located inside the Burns Building, and provides visitors with tours, as well live music and light bites. Happy hour is available, too. Hours are 4 to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to midnight Friday, noon to midnight Saturday, and noon to 11 p.m. Sunday. For more, visit https://devilsriverwhiskey.com or call 833-DRW-1840.

BRUNO’S DIVE BAR, 1004 S. Alamo St., offers a full bar with bar snacks, a game room and a patio. Jody and Steve Newman, owners of The Friendly Spot across the road, own Bruno’s, which honors Bruno and Diane Dzanski, the original owners of the former B&D Ice House. Hours are 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Monday. For more, visit www.brunosdive.com or call 210-225-9801.

MILPA, 5253 McCullough Ave., offers Mexican street food-inspired cuisine, such as tacos arabes, asada and carnitas, and will expand to include tamales, calabacita and moles. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. For more, visit www.facebook.com/milpaattheyard.

IN OTHER NEWS:

AUSTIN-BASED MNO PARTNERS HAS DROPPED THEIR PROPOSED RIVER ROAD NEIGHBORHOOD townhome project. According to a San Antonio Business Journal report, the developer is no longer pursuing The Oaks at River Road. San Antonio Historic and Design Review Commission approved the concept with stipulations in 2019, but the Board of Adjustment overturned that decision after hearing objections from several River Road neighbors. MNO revised and scaled down their townhouse concept, but not to the full satisfaction of many neighbors. Last November, HDRC asked MNO to further refine the proposal. But according to the Business Journal report, MNO shifted their focus on projects in other cities. 

SAN ANTONIO HAS STARTED a 2017 bond-funded project to provide road improvements and new sidewalks and bike lanes on North St. Mary’s Street from East Mistletoe Avenue to West Josephine Street. Completion is due in fall 2023.

RIDGEMONT PROPERTIES INC. RECENTLY COMPLETED A FOUR-STORY, 28,000-square-foot office complex at 200 Austin Highway in Alamo Heights for relocating to part of the structure. The first high-end office development in Alamo Heights, the building occupies a former Bank of America branch site.

GRAYSTREET PARTNERS OF SAN ANTONIO AND Midway of Houston want to turn the former Lone Star Brewery site into Lone Star District, a mixed-use lifestyle destination. They seek to develop Lone Star District in phases over 10 years. Preliminary plans include redevelopment of some buildings and utilization of 15 acres of vacant land, officials said. For more, visit lonestardistrictsa.com.

IN MARCH, HEMISFAIR’S SPLASH PAD reopened after a one-year closure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing rules are enforced.

The Yanaguana Garden splash pad, among other public features and programming, have been gradually reopening at Hemisfair. Courtesy photo/Hemisfair

TO SERVE AS CHAIRMAN, GOV. GREG ABBOTT REAPPOINTED San Antonian J. Bruce Bugg Jr. to the Texas Transportation Commission until Feb. 1, 2027. He’s also chairman and CEO of Argyle Investment Co.; chairman, president and CEO of Southwest Bancshares, and chairman of The Bank of San Antonio; chairman and trustee of The Tobin Endowment; and co-founder and founding chairman of the Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation. Bugg also sits on other organizations’ boards, including McNay Art Museum.

AGENTS HEATHER KEENAN AND JANE DELMER joined Embrey Realty, an Alamo Heights residential real estate firm. Keenan’s husband, Ben teaches at Alamo Heights High School. They have three boys. Delmer and husband, Sam, belong to Alamo Heights PTOs, and St. Peter Prince of the Apostles Catholic Church.

IN MARCH, METHODIST HOSPITAL-METROPOLITAN RENAMED its freestanding emergency room at 250 E. Basse Road to Methodist ER-Alamo Heights to better reflect the primary community it serves, plus the geographic location of the emergency room. 

CENTRAL CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL’S COED cheerleading squad won in the Advanced Non-Building Varsity Game Day Performance Division during the National Cheerleaders Association national championships in March in Fort Worth. The team’s third U.S. title in five years, members also received a specialty award for best tumbling.

SOUTHERLEIGH FINE FOOD & BREWERY AT PEARL recently was honored in General Mills Convenience and Foodservice’s Neighborhood to Nation restaurant-recipe contest. The Minneapolis-based food-product company each year lauds locally owned and operated restaurants and food trucks, which use at least one ingredient from the company. The eatery, plus its iterations on the South Side and The Rim on the far North Side, also received $5,000 to support their marketing efforts. They’re the only Texas winners.

STARTING MAY 3, DEREK BOESE IS THE SAN ANTONIO RIVER AUTHORITY’S new general manager, succeeding Suzanne Scott, who retired in October 2020. Boese previously was chief administrative officer of Flood Protection Authority-East, a New Orleans-based regional agency.

THE DOSEUM, SAN ANTONIO MUSEUM OF ART, San Antonio Zoo, McNay Art Museum, and the Witte Museum partnered to create Museo Institute, a professional development opportunity for San Antonio educators. Visit http://bit.ly/2PYuPbY for details.

WESTON CENTRE, 112 E. PECAN ST., PLANS TO OPEN WESTON CENTRE by early July, providing a 12,500-square-foot public plaza near the building’s entrance. The plaza will feature green space with seating, room for games and fitness classes, phone and digital device charging stations, and a free WiFi connection. Workers and visitors will also be able to work outdoors or enjoy food from Commonwealth Bakery located inside the building.

SAN ANTONIO CITY COUNCIL ON APRIL 15 APPROVED AN AMENDED LEASE AGREEMENT with the Texas General Land Office permitting a revised Alamo Plaza plan. The Texas Historical Commission’s denial of a Cenotaph relocation permit in 2020 required design changes to the original redevelopment plan. Such changes include repurposing the Woolworth and Crockett buildings, retaining parades and cultural traditions in Alamo Plaza, and preserving public access to the plaza. Additionally, the Cenotaph will be repaired and not moved, and the historic footprint will not be lowered. District 1 City Councilman Roberto Treviño cast the lone “no” vote on the lease pact amendment.

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