What's New In San Antonio
As the seventh-largest city in the nation and one of the fastest growing, San Antonio always has something new and exciting to explore. Here are a few of San Antonio’s newest offerings as well as developments on the horizon.
NATION’S LARGEST LATINO-FOCUSED PERFORMANCE VENUE RE-OPENING (2025)
The largest performance venue in the U.S. focusing on Latino performing arts, The Alameda Theater, will reopen in 2025 after a two-phase, multiyear, $37 million initiative to restore the historic downtown San Antonio theater. Originally completed in 1949, the theater has featured well-known performers from across the U.S., Mexico, Spain and other Latin American countries. When it reopens following its renovation, the theater will host local, regional and international artists with a variety of seating options with a capacity of up to 1,500 people. The interior will include an expanded lobby, an upstairs lounge area, a cafe and restored blacklight murals. The restoration work includes environmental and utility work, construction of a new stage extending beyond the curtains toward the audience and a tiered seating structure.
WORLD HERITAGE CENTER TO OPEN (September 2024)
Estimated to be completed in September 2024, the new World Heritage Center will serve as a gateway to the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Texas. It will provide educational opportunities and information on the history, art, and culture of the community around the missions and would be a place for San Antonio residents and visitors to gather.
THE ALAMO EXPANDING WITH CONSTRUCTION OF ALAMO COLLECTIONS CENTER (March 2023)
The Alamo is working to improve the visitor experience and expand its exhibition facilities with its new Alamo Collections Center. This building will display part of the Phil Collins Collection, among other pieces from the Alamo Collection, in its 10,000 square feet of new exhibit space – five times more than the Alamo has today. This new building, part of “The Alamo Plan,” provides state-of-the-art facilities for special exhibitions and storage to ensure the long-term care of the Alamo collection. The Exhibition Hall is not a replacement for the upcoming Alamo Visitor Center and Museum, which is on track for a 2026 launch. The Phil Collins Collection will then be put on display in the museum and the Collections Center will become home to additional traveling exhibits in order to further educate and engage visitors.
THE ALAMO DEBUTS NEW ARCHEOLOGY, HISTORICAL EXHIBITIONS (April 2022)
Visitors to the Alamo can now get an in-depth look into an excavation unit and the history of how the Long Barrack has been used since 1724. At its opening, the Alamo Archaeology exhibit is the third exhibit added to the Alamo grounds in the previous 11 months, joining the outdoor Palisade and 18-Pounder exhibits as major additions to the visitor experience. These exhibits are free and do not require a timed-entry ticket.
MCNAY ART MUSEUM’S $6.25 MILLION LANDSCAPE MASTER PLAN (November 2021)
The McNay Art Museum’s commitment to engaging a diverse community in the visual arts is reaching new heights with a $6.25 million Landscape Master Plan. This transformative plan activates and enhances the outdoor museum experience with additional works of art, “invisible” fencing, new landscaping and increased accessibility—ensuring everyone feels welcome and at home at the first modern art museum in Texas. Vibrant florals, dozens of native and drought-resistant trees, scenic walkways, meditative seating areas and enhanced lighting activate the expanded 25-acre grounds.
SAN ANTONIO AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY ARCHIVE & MUSEUM (February 2021)
The San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum (SAACACAM) is debuting a new exhibit location in the heart of the city at La Villita (218 South Presa St., Building 20). The materials collected in the museum’s archives serve as family-friendly educational material, with programs specifically designed for children, as well as inspire youth and adults from San Antonio and beyond. One of its permanent exhibitions presents a timeline that illustrates Black history in the city through photographs and documents from the archive.
BLACK HISTORY RIVER CRUISE (February 2021)
The San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum, working with GO Rio River Cruises, has launched twice monthly African American history tours focused on San Antonio’s city center. The tours, on the second Sunday and fourth Saturday of each month, will be limited to 19 people per cruise in observance of social distancing. Private group tours also are available.
ROBERT L.B. TOBIN LAND BRIDGE at PHIL HARDBERGER PARK (December 2020)
The Land Bridge is the first in the world designed for the safe passage of both wildlife and people. At 150-feet long and 150-feet wide, it is the largest wildlife crossing constructed to date in the United States. Built across the busy lanes of Wurzbach Parkway, the Land Bridge unifies the previously divided 330-acre Hardberger Park located in north central San Antonio. Pedestrians and animals traversing the Land Bridge have the experience of climbing a peaceful hill, unaware of the roadway below. Amenities such as wildlife viewing blinds designed by local artists and a Skywalk that gently climbs through the treetops leading to the bridge offer park visitors unique new ways to connect with nature.
HOPSCOTCH (October 2020)
Hopscotch, a curated experiential art experience, opened in downtown San Antonio with a view of Travis Park. The 20,000-sq.-ft. gallery features 14 immersive exhibits by more than 40 local, national and international artists ranging in location from San Antonio to Moscow. The gallery boasts outdoor patio and indoor lounge available to the general public as well as to ticketed guests. Popular local food truck Smack’s Chicken Shack has parked in the gallery’s patio and created the #LetsHopscotch sandwich, a decadent combination of fried chicken, powdered sugar, honey butter and donuts, that is only served at Hopscotch. The gallery’s bar program is inspired by the installations throughout the space featuring specialty cocktails, beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages. Hopscotch also offers an onsite gift shop offering unique gifts and custom curiosities as well as items from the installation’s artists and additional local artists.
SAN ANTONIO BOTANICAL COMPLETES $20 MILLION EXPANSION RENOVATION (August 2020)
The Education and Event Center at the San Antonio Botanical Garden made its debut in Spring 2020 and is the gateway to a 38-acre urban oasis of nature just minutes from downtown. This 3,500 square foot state-of-the-art indoor venue is surrounded by three sides of 16-foot floor-to-ceiling windows with the interior and exterior ceiling adorned by Sinker Cypress wood. Views include the lush Grand Lawn, wisteria arbor, oak trees, and the Santikos Fern Fountain. This modern building is ideal for events of all sizes from lectures and symposiums of up to 350 guests or receptions and banquets with up to 200 seated guests. The new Grand Lawn, adjacent to the Education and Event Center, can accommodate a sit-down dinner up to 720 guests or a festival for 2,300. This is the final piece of the Botanical Garden’s multi-year, $20 million expansion renovation.
RUBY CITY (October 2019)
Conceived by renowned philanthropist and collector Linda Pace (1945-2007), and designed by preeminent architect Sir David Adjaye, Ruby City is a new 14,000 square foot art exhibition space on Camp Street. The modern, crimson-hued building transforms San Antonio’s arts community as it houses the Linda Pace Foundation’s growing collection of more than 900 paintings, sculptures, installations and video works by contemporary artists from around the world. The entire $16 million project was privately funded by Linda Pace Foundation. Ruby City is part of an arts campus that also includes Chris Park and Studio, which extends from South Flores Street to the San Pedro Creek. Admission is free.
FAMILY ADVENTURE GARDEN AT SAN ANTONIO BOTANICAL GARDEN (March 2018)
As part of its recent expansion, the San Antonio Botanical Garden opened its 2.5-acre Family Adventure Garden. With 15 adventure-themed areas carefully designed to encourage nature play and discovery, families can explore bubbling creeks, thundering ridges, beckoning hills, and sandy shores. The Family Adventure Garden offers a multigenerational design so people of all ages and physical abilities can unplug from devices and plug in to nature. The Garden’s transformational 8-acre expansion, much of which opened 2017-2018, also includes the Mays Family Display Garden, Halsell Welcome Building, H-E-B Discovery Center, The Zachry Foundation Culinary Garden, Goldsbury Foundation Pavilion and CHEF Teaching Kitchen.
SAN ANTONIO NAMED UNESCO CREATIVE CITY OF GASTRONOMY (October 2017)
San Antonio has been named a member of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s Creative Cities Network. This internationally recognized designation honors San Antonio’s rich culinary heritage and is the result of a collaborative community effort. San Antonio is only the second city in the U.S. to earn this distinction and the first in Texas. San Antonio’s culinary heritage is significant for its confluence of many world cultures such as Mexican, Spanish, German and French, as well as its geology and geography.
THE ALAMO OPENS NEW COLLECTIONS CENTER WITH OVER FIVE HUNDRED ARTIFACTS, SOME NEVER BEFORE SEEN
Now open! Experience the Collector’s Journey in a state-of-the-art curatorial environment dedicated to preservation in the new Ralston Family Collections Center. View the Phil Collins Collection – priceless artifacts gifted to the State of Texas by musician and historian, Phil Collins. Many of the artifacts are on display for the first time. Explore artifacts from the Donald and Louise Yena Spanish Colonial Collection, Alamo Collection, interactive exhibits, and more. The two-story, 24,000 square-foot Ralston Family Collections Center has been built on the grounds, behind the iconic Alamo Church, to the east of the Gift Shop in the Alamo gardens. It has been prudently designed so its construction will not obstruct the breathtaking view of the Church from Alamo Plaza.
SIX FLAGS FIESTA TEXAS OPENS THE WORLD’S FIRST THEME PARK BASED GAMING EXPERIENCE AND NEW KID FLASH FAMILY COASTER (Spring 2023)
In partnership with IGN Entertainment, Six Flags Fiesta Texas launched ESIX Gaming powered by Coca-Cola™. As the largest gaming-focused media platform in the world with over 286M+ unique users, IGN is positioned to bring the excitement of ESIX to gamers of all ages. Through this partnership, Six Flags Fiesta Texas and IGN Entertainment will host and stream a range of competitive events throughout the year featuring the biggest games, teams and IGN’s array of beloved hosts. The all-new Kid Flash Cosmic Coaster is Texas’ only racing roller coaster, and is a twin-tracked roller coaster featuring innovative single-rail track and an inclusive train design that provides comfortable seating for both adults and children. The twin tracks cross over and under each other a dozen times during the ride cycle. The two sides operate simultaneously for a racing action on the dueling tracks. A first-of-its-kind single-rail family racing roller coaster, this unique ride will run two trains, on two parallel dueling tracks, simultaneously allowing guests to compete and race to the finish. With a 36” minimum height requirement, the new coaster expands ride offerings for families and young thrill seekers.
SEAWORLD SAN ANTONIO OPENS WORLD’S FIRST LAUCHED FLUME COASTER (Summer 2023)
The all-new thrill ride Catapult Falls is North America’s only vertical lift. Eleven boats, each with eight riders, catapult through the launch at speeds of 30 feet per second, allowing riders to feel the rush of a coaster while experiencing the rocking and swaying of riding on a track of water that kicks up waves as it moves. Once at the peak of the ride, guests will experience the world’s steepest drop in a flume attraction, angled at a staggering 53 degrees, the chute plummets riders into a watery splashdown at over 37 miles per hour.
WITTE MUSEUM WITH MORE DINOSAURS THAN EVER BEFORE, FEATURED IN TWO SPECIAL EXHIBITIONS
Don’t miss your chance to explore world-class dinosaur exhibitions featuring real fossils, a Jurassic dinosaur paradise and the heaviest Tyrannosaurus rex on record, Scotty. Tyrannosaurus rex is the most recognizable dinosaur in the world. But it’s not the only tyrannosaur you should know. The rest of the tyrannosaur family is sharing the spotlight this summer in Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family, on display in San Antonio. This exhibition, created by the Australian Museum, brings the latest tyrannosaur discoveries to life and reveals some of the most significant discoveries in paleontology of the past decade. Then guests can turn their San Antonio summer into an Antarctic adventure. Antarctica today can be a harsh land of ice and snow, but 200 million years ago it was a bountiful, forested habitat where dinosaurs thrived. In Antarctic Dinosaurs, you’ll step back in time to discover the dinosaurs that ruled these now-fossilized forests.
SAN ANTONIO ZOO WELCOMES MEERKATS TO THE NEWLEY RENOVATED KRONKOSKY’S TINY TOT NATURE SPOT
The San Antonio Zoo, named the 2023 Best Zoo in Texas, again, by the Texas Travel Awards, is thrilled to announce the return of meerkats to the zoo, bringing these playful creatures back after a 27-year absence. These inquisitive creatures come from the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa and belong to the playful mongoose family. Visitors to the new meerkat habitat in Kronkosky’s Tiny Tot Nature Spot can expect to see a lively family of five adorable meerkats living in a social group called a “mob.” These social animals communicate through vocalizations, making for an intriguing show of nature.
SAN ANTONIO BOTANICAL GARDENS WELCOMES LARGER-THAN-LIFE LIVING STATUES.
Giant living sculptures are making their Texas debut! Imaginary Worlds: Once Upon a Time will enchant guests at San Antonio Botanical Garden with larger-than-life, whimsical sculptures created by Mosaïcultures® Internationales de Montréal. Imaginary Worlds: Once Upon a Time was originally developed and displayed at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Across the Garden’s 38 acres, unearth a massive dragon on the Conservatory Lawn, a mermaid lounging at the lake, and a parading peacock in the Formal Garden, Rip Van Winkle sleeping under an oak tree, Storybooks on display, and a Pegasus that has just landed.
NEW CONCERT HALL TO OPEN IN HISTORIC STABLES AT PEARL (Fall 2023)
Pearl will transform a nearly 130-year-old building that once housed brewery draft horses into a new live music venue. Stable Hall will seat about 1,000 concertgoers and include an outdoor biergarten that’s a nod to Pearl’s heritage, featuring German Hill Country fare. The facility will showcase national touring artists as well as regional talent from Texas, Mexico and the Americana Music Triangle – encompassing the area between Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans – with an emphasis on local talent. The venue will feature a draped jewel-box stage, with floor and curved balcony seating, wooden floors, hand-painted murals and a restored wood ceiling, as well as state-of-the-art acoustics and lighting. Bars and pre-function areas will surround the performance hall.
SEAWORLD SAN ANTONIO OPENS WORLD’S FIRST LAUNCHED FLUME COASTER (Summer 2023)
The all-new thrill ride Catapult Falls is North America’s only vertical lift. Eleven boats, each with eight riders, catapult through the launch at speeds of 30 feet per second, allowing riders to feel the rush of a coaster while experiencing the rocking and swaying of riding on a track of water that kicks up waves as it moves. Once at the peak of the ride, guests will experience the world’s steepest drop in a flume attraction, angled at a staggering 53 degrees, the chute plummets riders into a watery splashdown at over 37 miles per hour.
NEW HIDDEN WONDERS TOUR AT NATURAL BRIDGE CAVERN (May 2023)
The Hidden Wonders Tour experience at Natural Bridge Caverns offers state-of-the-art lighting, a sound and light show, and expansion into never before toured areas of the Hidden Cavern. In addition to new lighting, guests can also expect a 1,100-foot-long expansion of the public passageways through the cave and will be able to tour through an area that was only previously accessible by cavers. Exiting the Hidden Wonders tour will also be a one-of-a-kind experience as guests effortlessly ride from underground to the surface on the 700-foot-long BAT (Belt Assisted Transport through a newly constructed exit tunnel), the BAT is the world’s first conveyor system ride out of a cavern.
SIX FLAGS FIESTA TEXAS OPENS THE WORLD’S FIRST THEME PARK BASED GAMING EXPERIENCE AND NEW KID FLASH FAMILY COASTER (Spring 2023)
In partnership with IGN Entertainment, Six Flags Fiesta Texas launched ESIX Gaming powered by Coca-Cola™. As the largest gaming-focused media platform in the world with over 286M+ unique users, IGN is positioned to bring the excitement of ESIX to gamers of all ages. Through this partnership, Six Flags Fiesta Texas and IGN Entertainment will host and stream a range of competitive events throughout the year featuring the biggest games, teams and IGN’s array of beloved hosts. The all-new Kid Flash Cosmic Coaster is Texas’ only racing roller coaster, and is a twin-tracked roller coaster featuring innovative single-rail track and an inclusive train design that provides comfortable seating for both adults and children. The twin tracks cross over and under each other a dozen times during the ride cycle. The two sides operate simultaneously for racing action on the dueling tracks. A first-of-its-kind single-rail family racing roller coaster, this unique ride will run two trains, on two parallel dueling tracks, simultaneously allowing guests to compete and race to the finish. With a 36” minimum height requirement, the new coaster expands ride offerings for families and young thrill seekers.
NEW OUTDOOR PERFORMANCE VENUE TO OPEN AT ST. PAUL SQUARE (March 2023)
The new outdoor performance venue, the Espee, will open on March 4 in the historic Sunset Station – the former train station at St. Paul Square which served as a central connection to multiple states such as California, Missouri or Louisiana. With over 20,000 square feet, the venue has a capacity of 3,175.
NATURAL BRIDGE CAVERNS INTRODUCES NEWEST OFF TRAIL EXPERIENCE (July 2022) – The largest cavern in Texas has debuted St. Mary’s Adventure Tour which takes guests on a unique caving expedition through a beautiful wild cave area of the attraction’s Discovery Cavern. Sections of these passages, never seen by guests, include rare formations including black calcite and beautiful box work. Guests will learn and use some professional rope techniques used by cavers when traversing, ascending, and descending within the cave, necessary skills for this exciting new adventure tour experience. Knowledgeable guides provide training, and no prior caving experience is needed for this tour which does not involve crawling and takes about 3.5-4 hours. Natural Bridge Caverns is a designated State Historical Site, National Natural Landmark, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
WORLD’S STEEPEST DIVE COASTER COMING TO SIX FLAGS FIESTA TEXAS (Summer 2022)
A world-record-setting, themed roller coaster is part of Six Flags Fiesta Texas’ 30th Anniversary celebration in 2022. The fictional Dr. Diabolical built a machine offering riders the elixir of eternal life, while truly meant to harvest the essence of human adrenaline and fear in order to nourish her creatures. The “Dr. Diabolical’s Cliffhanger” coaster has three 21-passenger trains to lift riders 150 feet in the air, then lock them in a face-first Cliffhanger hold just before dropping them down a 95-degree, beyond-vertical plummet at 60 mph. The machine travels on 2,501 feet of track through an Immelmann inversion, a 270-degree zero-g roll, a 75-foot near-vertical drop, a wild-banked turn, an extreme airtime hill, and a high-speed spiral finale.
DUELING WATER SLIDE TO DEBUT AT AQUATICA SAN ANTONIO (2022)
Riptide Race doubles the splash factor and fun for park goers. Starting atop a 51-foot tower, riders will grab a two-person raft and take their mark with their partner and plunge towards a hopeful victory. Riptide Race features dueling side-by-side flumes and low walls to ensure full view of the competition. Guests can challenge each other while navigating tight loops and turns, adrenaline-pumping drops, and exciting accelerations through indoor and outdoor sections. It’s a marathon to the finish through nearly 565 feet of splashing slides.
SEAWORLD SAN ANTONIO WELCOMES WORLD’S TALLEST AND FASTEST SCREAMING SWING (Spring 2022)
SeaWorld San Antonio will be home to an all-new, world record breaking, high-thrill attraction – Tidal Surge. The screaming swing will seat 40 riders and feature two pendulum-like arms that will soar progressively higher to a staggering height of 135 feet at its peak. The dueling arms will alternate sides and sway back-and-forth at 68 mph, creating multiple airtime moments that levitate guests out of their seats with each heart stopping swing. Riders’ legs will dangle and hang as they soar over the waterski lake and take in the beautiful views of the park, while reaching multiple negative G moments before plunging back towards the earth.
SAN ANTONIO ZOO INTRODUCES PANTERA WALK AND NEOTROPICA (Fall 2021)
San Antonio Zoo is expanding the jaguar habitat with a connected overhead catwalk called Pantera Walk. The new habitat’s Pantera Walk will not only go over guests as they stroll by the current jaguar habitat, but it will lead the jaguars into the Amazonia habitat where they can walk along the riverbed before making their way into the secondary habitat. Once complete, San Antonio Zoo will be the only zoo in the United States to offer this unique catwalk for jaguars. Pantera Walk will reinforce two important natural behaviors – it lets jaguars hang high in a canopy type setting and it allows them to explore the river’s edge. The new jaguar habitat is part of a renovated area of the zoo also debuting in the fall, to be named NEOTROPICA. The new realm’s theme will focus on the Neotropical regions of the Americas and include enhancements that stretch from the current Outpost Amazonia through the new jaguar habitat and other regional habitats in that area. NEOTROPICA will create the feel of a remote fishing village with motifs characteristic of the Americas and nods to pre-Hispanic cultures.
ULTRA-ACCESSIBLE™ MORGAN’S WONDERLAND CAMP (2021)
The team behind Morgan’s Wonderland, the world’s first ultra-accessible theme park, is building a 102-acre recreational oasis in northern San Antonio that will offer year-round summer-camp-type experiences to those with and without special needs. The $28 million project will feature an ultra-accessible, multi-platform zipline, a stable and horses, hiking trails, a nature farm, multiple pools, a splash pad, archery range, enclosed sports pavilion, arts and crafts center, a challenge course for all abilities, a 30,000-square-foot welcome center and a 5,500-square-foot health center for round-the-clock medical assistance. Twenty on-site cabins will be built to accommodate up to 525 campers and staff members.
MORGAN’S WONDERLAND SPORTS (June 2021)
Morgan’s Wonderland Sports will be a 3-acre ultra-accessible™ sports complex, offering fitness and fun for athletes of all abilities. The new $4 million facility in northeast San Antonio will provide a home for adaptive and Paralympic-style sports programs for wounded service members and veterans, alongside youth and adults with different abilities. Morgan’s Wonderland Sports will be available for private events and offers 30 court or field combinations including two baseball/softball fields, five tennis courts, 20 pickleball courts, a football field, a basketball court and a volleyball court, as well as an 8,000-square-foot covered pavilion and LED field lights to assist guests with visual impairments.
SEA LIFE AQUARIUM OPENS AT SHOPS AT RIVERCENTER (May 2021)
SEA LIFE is the world’s biggest aquarium brand and highlights spectacular displays of diverse marine life. As its stunning centerpiece SEA LIFE San Antonio features a tropical ocean tank with a walk-through underwater tunnel, taking visitors on a seamless journey under the sea.
DARE DEVIL DIVE FLYING MACHINES ARRIVING AT SIX FLAGS FIESTA TEXAS (April 2021)
Six Flags Fiesta Texas visitors can now experience the thrills and sensations of weightlessness through aerial banks, loops and dives on the all-new Dare Devil Dive Flying Machines. The world’s tallest ride of its kind, the retro four-seater steampunk flying machines imitates the maneuvers of acrobatic dogfights soaring nearly five stories above Crackaxle Canyon.
TALLEST, FASTEST AND LONGEST WOODEN COASTER IN TEXAS OPENS AT SEAWORLD SAN ANTONIO (February 2020)
SeaWorld San Antonio opened the all-new Texas Stringray wooden roller coaster. This ride is the tallest, fastest and longest wooden coaster in Texas. It features a drop of 100 feet with more than 15 airtime hills with a top speed of 55 miles per hour.
HEART-POUNDING TONGA TWISTER SLIDES OPENS AT AQUATICA SAN ANTONIO (Summer 2020)
Tonga Twister, two thrilling, heart pounding body slides, each with distinct twists and turns was unveiled this summer at Aquatica, SeaWorld San Antonio’s waterpark. Tonga Twister features AquaLucent™ tubes that create special effect lighting patterns, giving riders an electrifying light show as they plummet and slide from a height of more than 50 feet, navigating 415 feet of twists and turns before splashing down into a refreshing pool. High-energy music piped into the tubes elevates the excitement and fun.
TWISTED TRAILS ADVENTURE COURSE AT NATURAL BRIDGE CAVERNS
Twisted Trails Adventure Course is an all-new attraction at Natural Bridge Caverns, home to the largest show caves in Texas. The six-story-high adventure course features four levels and 50 elements to challenge all ages. Guests test their skills with activities such as lily pads, stepping stones, a weave walk, squid steps and a rolling log. Unlike traditional ziplines, which only travel along a straight line, Twisted Trails includes 685-feet of curved rails, offering a soaring roller coaster-like experience. Nearby, the new Twisted Trails Tykes allows pint-sized thrill seekers their own taste of the action.
THE JOKER: CARNIVAL OF CHAOS AT SIX FLAGS FIESTA TEXAS (July 2019)
A thrilling new pendulum ride inspired by DC Super-Villain The Joker is now open at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Joker Carnival of Chaos, located in the new DC Universe section of the park, is the world’s tallest pendulum ride, standing at a record-breaking 17 stories and reaching speeds up to 75 miles per hour. Guests can enjoy the ride 12 months a year, as the theme park has announced year-round operations, extending their season into both January and February, weekends and holidays.
TURTLE REEF™ DEBUTS AT SEAWORLD SAN ANTONIO (May 2019)
SeaWorld’s all-new Turtle Reef™ is a fascinating habitat that enables guests to get an up-close look at threatened and endangered sea turtles, plus learn about the threats the species face in the wild. The focal point is a 126,000-gallon coral reef-themed environment, with natural bio filtration, featuring rescued and non-releasable green sea turtles, along with hundreds of multi-colored Caribbean fish. Turtle Reef also features SeaWorld’s second underwater viewing area where guests can watch from a floor-to-ceiling, panoramic portal as turtles swim just inches away.
LEGOLAND® DISCOVERY CENTER OPENS AT SHOPS AT RIVERCENTER (April 2019)
Premier family attraction LEGOLAND Discovery Center has opened at the Shops at Rivercenter in downtown San Antonio. LEGOLAND Discovery Center is the ultimate indoor LEGO® playground and is designed for families with children ages 3 to 10 to play together. The new attraction offers a range of themed LEGO play areas, creative workshops with LEGO Master Model Builders, exciting LEGO-themed rides, party rooms, as well as the popular MINILAND exhibit which will reflect the buildings and skyline of San Antonio.
RHINO RENOVATIONS AT SAN ANTONIO ZOO (March 2019)
The San Antonio Zoo has transformed its rhinoceros habitat to feature additional trees and landscape, a viewing deck, waterfall with creek and a mud wallow. The habitat is not only to rhinos, but to zebras, crown cranes, waterbucks, sitatungas and marbou storks. The new rhino habitat connects to the existing giraffe habitat allowing the animals to move freely between areas, creating a savanna-like setting. A nursery area was also added to accommodate two female rhinos the zoo plans to receive from other zoological facilities as well as a male rhino shortly, in order to begin a breeding program for Southern White Rhinoceroses.
NEW-BUILD ARTISTA SAN ANTONIO HOTEL COMING TO RIVER WALK (2025)
The 121-room hotel celebrates San Antonio’s great culture and diversity and will offer a fresh perspective on the lifestyle boutique hotel experience in the heart of the city’s River Walk area. Guestroom interiors will reflect an inspirational art-centric modern design with a nod to the Spanish colonial roots of San Antonio. The hotel, operating under Accor’s Morgans Originals lifestyle brand, will embrace a strong South and Central American flavor with work by artists whose pieces will be featured throughout the property. Artista San Antonio will engage directly with the local artist community, providing several unique offerings for guests including access to limited edition prints, custom artwork and bespoke textile and leather goods. Over 2,500 square feet of event and meeting space will be available for private parties, events, gatherings and meetings. The eight-story hotel will bring several of the Morgan Original’s signature culinary and bar concepts to the heart of the Riverwalk.
KIMPTON HOTELS TO DEBUT FIRST SAN ANTONIO PROPERTY (Late 2024)
Located in Downtown San Antonio at the intersection of the vibrant La Villita and Southtown neighborhoods, the 347-room hotel will be part new-build and part adaptive reuse of an 1850s-original schoolhouse. The property’s juxtaposition of the historic and the modern embraces the city’s spirit of authenticity and the neighborhood’s creative energy. The Kimpton in San Antonio will feature a 10-story tower housing a modern and airy lobby, luxurious guest rooms, and a rooftop pool and lounge with views overlooking downtown and the neighboring greenspace. Two adjacent historic buildings will undergo careful adaptive reuse to become a high-end restaurant, lively lobby bar and several one-of-a-kind hotel suites. Bridging the historic buildings, the courtyard and its natural foliage will soon become an unmatched outdoor entertainment and event venue for hotel guests and the local community. In addition to the courtyard, the hotel will feature more than 10,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space, inclusive of a 5,000-square-foot ballroom. As is true with all Kimpton properties, the hotel will feature beloved perks such as morning coffee and tea service, evening social hour, “Forgot It? We’ve Got it!” amenity program, 24-hour fitness center, in-room yoga mats, complimentary bicycle rentals and a friendly no-fee pet policy.
LUXURY INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL CHECKING INTO RIVER WALK (Late 2023)
Scarlett Hotel Group and Trailbreak Partners have purchased the former Wyndham San Antonio River Walk and plan a $50 million overhaul will turn the 21-story building into a luxury, full-service, four-star, 390-room InterContinental Hotel. As part of the multimillion-dollar upgrades, the new InterContinental will offer 40,000 square feet of meeting space and nearly 3,000 square feet of dining and restaurant space, as well as luxury rooftop amenities.
NEW OTIS HOTEL TO BE SAN ANTONIO’S FIRST AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION PROPERTY (Spring 2023)
An existing downtown hotel is undergoing a complete renovation, which will include the exterior, porte cochere, resort pool, lobby, meeting rooms and all guest rooms to become a boutique hotel called The Otis Hotel San Antonio. The property also will include all-new destination spa, restaurant and bar. Guests will be inspired by The Otis Hotel’s luxurious contemporary design, which is perfectly juxtaposed with the property’s historic grounds and urban, oasis-like setting. Two of the property’s on-site historic 19th century buildings will be repurposed from meeting and event space into a new day spa. The third historic bungalow will be used as a one-of-a-kind bridal suite. In addition to the nearly 10,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, additional outdoor event areas will be situated among the urban oasis – ideal for weddings, cocktail receptions and business events.
DUAL-CONCEPT AC HOTEL & ELEMENT HOTEL DEBUTING AT RIVERVIEW TOWERS (November 2022)
Across from historic Main Plaza and San Fernando Cathedral, The Riverview Towers will soon be home to San Antonio’s first AC Hotel by Marriott and Element Hotel by Westin. The AC brand celebrates the beauty of classic modern designs born of its Spanish roots and European soul. The hotels’ 20-story building will include 4,000 sq. ft of function space and roof top bar One Watson on the 13th floor overlooking the River Walk. With 181 rooms, each offering amazing views, AC Hotel will be a great retreat for simplistic luxury catering to the creative, well-traveled, entrepreneurial spirits, who are constantly on the go, and appreciate a well-designed hotel that allows them to focus, be present, and connect with others. Element Hotel will offer 169 spacious guest rooms designed for longer stays including fully equipped in-room kitchens, fitness options and on-site laundry.
MARRIOTT FLYING NEW FLAG AT SAN ANTONIO AIRPORT (May 2022)
Following a $36 million transformation, a former Holiday Inn hotel near San Antonio International Airport debuts as the new Marriott San Antonio Airport. Highlighting locally inspired artwork and designs, the 367 guestrooms and suites align quiet, creative space with comfort and amenities. A trendy lobby bar extends outdoors and focuses on mixology and local flavors. The outdoor pool opens to an activated pool terrace outfitted with lighting features, and bar access. Marriott San Antonio Airport offers an extensive fitness center, southwest cuisine from the on-site restaurant, free parking and airport shuttle, and a little over 15,000 sq ft of meeting space in a convention-style setting.
ALOFT NEW OPTION IN LA CANTERA AREA (September 2021)
Designed for global travelers who love open spaces, open thinking and open expression, Aloft San Antonio Northwest brings a distinct new offering to the La Cantera area. The hotel offers 136 airy 9-foot-high ceilings guest rooms, a splash pool and an over 750 sq. ft. gym. The hotel features W XYZ bar to mix it up over music, cocktails and wine and 24/7 grab-and-go food options at Refuel.
CANOPY BY HILTON MAKES RIVER WALK DEBUT (April 2021)
Adding to San Antonio’s repertoire of exceptional hotels, Canopy by Hilton made its River Walk debut in March 2021. The hotel integrates the Civil War-era Alamo Fish Market building into its 20-story design. Incorporating the building into the hotel is not only an integral element of the authenticity of the Canopy brand, but also maintains an important historic element to the corridor. Canopy San Antonio River Walk features 1,102 square feet of meeting space, 195 rooms and a restaurant with an outdoor terrace overlooking the River Walk.
ESTANCIA DEL NORTE DEBUTS IN UPTOWN DISTRICT (April 2021)
Originally constructed as La Mansion Del Norte in 1978, Estancia Del Norte honors the culture, character, and beauty of San Antonio. Estancia Del Norte transforms a piece of San Antonio history into a modern space for celebration, designed to showcase the vibrant traditions of Mexico, Spain, and Texas. The hotel offers 277 guest rooms including 12 luxury suites, the Grand Courtyard replete with a luxury pool and gardens, local artwork throughout the hotel, conference center including the over 7,000 square-foot Estancia Ballroom, the Paseo Bar – featuring tequilas, mezcals and a curated selection of specialty bourbons – and Lazo with Don Strange, the first restaurant from renowned San Antonio catering company, focusing on regional South Texas cuisine.
THOMPSON HOTEL BRINGS LUXURY DEVELOPMENT TO RIVER WALK ARTS DISTRICT (February 2021)
Thompson San Antonio Hotel and The Arts Residences, a $116 million mixed-use hotel-condominium tower on the San Antonio River Walk brings luxury living and hotel accommodations to the downtown area. The 20-story 337,000-plus-square-foot mixed-use development is across the River Walk from the esteemed Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. This 162-room Thompson Hotel is one of a collection of design-forward, boutique lifestyle hotels and resorts. It features amenities including a high-end restaurant, 20th floor rooftop bar with panoramic views of downtown, a 5,000 square-foot pool deck with pool bar on the fourth floor, a fitness center, spa, valet parking and 24-hour concierge and in-room dining services.
OMNI LA MANSIÓN DEL RIO UNVEILS MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR RENOVATION (Spring 2020)
Omni La Mansión del Rio has unveiled the completion of its multi-million dollar update of all 338 guestrooms at the hotel. Taking inspiration from the rich history of the property, the overall design maintains the originality of the existing building while adding brand new amenities. All rooms received new updated lighting and furniture including upgrading of any full-size beds to queen size beds, new artwork reflecting the heritage and beauty of the region with a modern and elevated aesthetic, smart high-definition TVs with the ability to stream and connect directly from personal devices, new Wi-Fi internet system, safe and secure radio-frequency identification (RFID) door lock system and fresh paint and carpet.
MARRIOTT RIVERCENTER HOTEL’S MULTI-MILLION-DOLLAR RENOVATION (February 2020)
One of the largest hotels in downtown San Antonio, Marriott Rivercenter, completed a river-to-rooftop, multi-million-dollar remodel in Feb. 2020 that captures the city’s artistic character. Indigenous architectural elements such as white limestone and local artistic glassmakers lend an upscale feel while still being traditional. The project included redesigning all 1,001 rooms and suites along with meeting space. Plus, common areas, lobby, restaurant and lounge space were also renovated and a new M Club for Marriott’s elite members has been added.
DUAL-BRANDED HAMPTON INN & SUITES AND HOME2SUITES BY HILTON OPENS ON RIVER WALK (February 2019)
The dual-branded Hampton Inn & Suites and Home2Suites by Hilton is San Antonio’s newest River Walk hotel offering great views of the river, two styles of complimentary breakfast and easy to access to many of San Antonio’s downtown attractions. The Hampton Inn offers 122 rooms and the Home2Suites has 91 rooms.
EMBASSY SUITES BY HILTON SAN ANTONIO LANDMARK OPENS IN NORTH SAN ANTONIO (August 2018)
This all-new, 203-room all-suite property is conveniently located near many of San Antonio’s top attractions including The Shops at La Cantera, The Rim shopping center and Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Guests staying at the Embassy Suites by Hilton San Antonio Landmark can enjoy a free made-to-order breakfast and complimentary drinks and snacks nightly at the hotel’s evening reception. Additional amenities include on-site restaurant Brickstone’s Kitchen & Bar, 11,000 square feet of meeting space, a 24-hour convenience store, a 24-hour business center, a 24-hour fitness center and an outdoor pool with bar service.
HYATT REGENCY HILL COUNTRY RESORT RENOVATES ROGER-WISEMAN PAVILION (August 2018)
Named in honor of the family who owned and operated a cattle ranch for more than a century on the land where the Hyatt Regency Hill Country now sits, the Rogers-Wiseman Pavilion was originally intended as a temporary venue space in 2010. The resort turned the space into a permanent structure in 2014, and in 2018, the resort completed a full renovation of the space to a full-use signature meeting and event space. The pavilion is now outfitted with floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides and new luxury vinyl tile flooring to reflect the elegance and rustic feel of the property.
TRU BY HILTON DOWNTOWN SAN ANTONIO OPENS IN EXPANDED HISTORIC BUILDING (June 2018)
Tru by Hilton Downtown San Antonio offers an experience that’s vibrant, affordable and young-at-heart. Located just steps from The Alamo and the River Walk, the 94-room Tru features efficient rooms with free WiFi and 55-inch televisions with 150 channels. Guests enjoy an extensive breakfast bar, as well as gourmet snacks, drinks and beer and wine from the hotel’s 24/7 market. While located in a historic building, Tru offers high-tech perks including digital keys, a social media wall, lobby tablets and free remote printing. Guests can enjoy pool, board games, a fitness center, outdoor pool or a sound-absorbing alcove for reading or quiet time.
HILTON GARDEN INN SAN ANTONIO DOWNTOWN (March 2018)
Located in the heart of downtown, the new Hilton Garden Inn is within easy walking distance of The Alamo, San Antonio River Walk, the Majestic Theatre, the Henry B. González Convention Center and Market Square. The 125-room property features modern interiors, a 24-hour fitness center, a roof top heated pool overlooking downtown and a restaurant and bar serving breakfast, dinner and room service. Room amenities include complimentary wireless Internet, a refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker. The property also offers 1,700 square feet of flexible meeting space with catering available.
KUSCH FAIRE AT HEMISFAIR (Spring 2024)
Opening in 2024, Kusch Faire, a new concept by the owners of Dashi Sichuan Kitchen + Bar and Sichuan House, will bring bold Asian flavors to Hemisfair in the 19th century Kusch house.
NEW CREAMERY WILL OPEN BETWEEN THE PEARL AND ST. MARY’S (Fall 2023)
Area Real Estate LLC is redeveloping the 50,000-square-foot former dairy plant at 875 E. Ashby Place built in 1929 into a mixed-use project, called The Creamery, with 10,000 square feet of restaurants and bars and 40,000 square feet of offices. Only One Hospitality will be developing and operating all hospitality projects. The first phase will include 5 concepts; Hook – Land and Sea, a 2,800-square-foot fast casual restaurant, Crème, an early morning and late night coffee shop serving up Champagne with a nod to European cafe’s, and a variety of bars such as Lunatique–a 900-square-foot rooftop garden specializing in margarita’s, spritzes and other refreshing libations–Easy Baby–a 12,000 square foot underground lounge with featured DJ’s spinning classics–and Amelia–a 2,100-square-foot wine social with thoughtful cocktails and elevated bar food.
THE JERK SHACK AT HEMISFAIR (Fall 2023)
Caribbean-inspired restaurant The Jerk Shack will open its third brick-and-mortar location in 2023 in downtown San Antonio’s redeveloped Hemisfair district. The new concept will be named Port Royal and popular items from the original Jerk Shack, including Jamaican favorites braised oxtail and jerk chicken, will be featured. New to the mix will be an array of elevated, steakhouse-style items. The downtown location will also be the first Jerk Shack to include a full bar and cocktail program. The 1,740-square-foot restaurant will be located in the Schultze House, one of the complex’s historically recreated homes. Constructed in 1893, the structure was part of HemisFair in 1968.
BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB AT HEMISFAIR (Fall 2023)
Bombay Bicycle Club partners Bill Leighton and Satchie Seidlits have teamed up with Paula Sullivan of Carmen’s de la Calle for Bombay Bicycle Club’s second location. The team will highlight the best of both restaurants with a menu featuring Carmen’s globally inspired empanadas and Bombay’s famous burgers. Bombay Bicycle Club first opened in San Antonio in 1973 and is known for its laid-back atmosphere, margaritas and classic American menu. The restaurant and bar will open in the historic Espinoza House at Hemisfair’s Yanaguana Garden.
KÜNSTLER TAP HAUS AT HEMISFAIR (June 2023)
Southtown’s Künstler Brewing’s owners Vera and Brent Deckard opened a new tap location at Hemisfair, in the historic 1883 Pereida House. The new dining spot serves Künstler’s award-winning beers along with bratwursts and other German favorite dishes such as pretzel bites, German potato salad or German Chocolate mousse. A selection of cocktails and wines are also available.
MAKE READY MARKET TO OPEN (2023)
Nestled between Broadway and the San Antonio River, a new 11,000-sq.-ft. food hall named Make Ready Market is set to open in 2023. It will feature a dozen of vendors including Mila Coffee, Thai Bird, Tiny Pies and Four Brothers Venezuelan Kitchen.
LA GLORIA and EL MACHITO (La Gloria: September 2022; El Machito: Late 2022)
Chef Johnny Hernandez expands his empire and authentic Mexican flavors to San Antonio’s Southside as he revives his grilled meat-focused restaurant El Machito and a new location of local favorite La Gloria. Located in the fast-growing mixed-use community of Brooks, Chef Hernandez’s concepts will be among the first San Antonio-based restaurants to be added alongside The Greenline, a 43-acre urban linear park connecting to the San Antonio River Walk’s Mission Reach. At El Machito, guests will enjoy a menu of Mexican style grilled meats including cecina asada, cabrito, chorizo verde, and more, while La Gloria’s menu continues its emphasis on popular Mexican street foods.
WONDERSLICE, PEARL’S FIRST PIZZA CONCEPT (June 2022)
Pearl announced the latest restaurant coming to the Food Hall, which will be the first pizza concept on the property – WonderSlice. WonderSlice pays tribute to the heyday of neighborhood pizza joints and is in partnership with Chef Ben Schwartz. The name conveys a sense of nostalgia, with a promise of “wonder by the slice.” WonderSlice is accessible and playful; its offerings include fresh pizza by the slice made onsite, full pies, homemade subs, salads, and soft serve ice cream.
TWO NEW ITALIAN CONCEPTS COMING TO PEARL (2022)
Maverick Restaurant Group announced two new Italian concepts centered around outdoor living. Allora is a stylish, full-service coastal Italian restaurant designed to take diners on a journey through the romantic Amalfi Coast. The restaurant creates Italian reverie with colorfully transportive gathering spaces, one of the city’s largest alfresco dining loggias, and a modern Italian menu crafted by Chef Robbie Nowlin. The menu features small and large plates, including fresh seafood, housemade pasta, plus savory vegetables and meats. A full-service bar offers craft cocktails, spritzers, and Italian wines. Arrosta is a fast-casual cafe, or tavola, bringing the flavors of Italian street markets to Pearl in San Antonio. The restaurant delivers a bohemian cafe experience, featuring elevated counter service and glass cases filled with baked goods and casual takeaway meals. Patrons can linger over work projects in cozy banquettes or retreat to the lush patio garden for relaxing breaks. Chef Christopher Carlson of Maverick Texas Brasserie delivers a menu of rotisserie meats sold by the pound in bowls, salads, and sandwiches, as well as salumi e formaggi, panini and fritti misto. An all-day bar transitions from coffee drinks in the morning to Italian wines and beers at night. Allora will be located on the ground level of the Credit Human building, while Arrosta will be on the ground level of the adjacent Oxbow building.
THE BOX STREET ALL DAY (December 2021)
A popular local food truck and catering business, The Box Street Social will be opening its first brick-and-mortar location at Hemisfair in downtown San Antonio. It will feature a 5,000-square-foot patio with view of the Tower of the Americas and other downtown landmarks. The tasty and eclectic menu will feature favorites such as pulled pork and spicy crab-stuffed avocados, Thai chile wings, chicken and doughnuts, and more items that will expand from its current food truck offerings. Its truck and catering business will continue operation.
THREE STAR BAR (October 2021)
Three Star Bar is a craft cocktail and comfort food bar by cocktail enthusiast and Boulevardier Group Owner Jeret Peña, Chef Josh Calderon and General Manager Rob Gourlay. The bar is located just north of downtown San Antonio near the Pearl district and offers a full bar with handcrafted cocktails and selection of beer and wines. The food menu will offer appetizers such as whiskey and maple glazed meatballs, deviled eggs, burrata, and borracho bean hummus, while the main entrees include a variety of fresh sandwiches filled with cured meats, meatballs, fried mortadella and more, as well as a selection of homemade burgers.
KINEAPPLE AT PEARL BOTTLING DEPT. (September 2021)
Kineapple, a concept by Local Coffee Founders Robby and Neesha Grubbs, opens at Pearl’s Bottling Department. The new concept will offer a variety of fresh smoothies, healthy snacks, salads, coffee, and more. The menu is designed to make healthy eating accessible and delicious. Guests can expect smoothies that can be made with different modifiers such as plant-based protein, whey isolate, creatine, turmeric, collagen, blue majik, cold brew shot and more. Food options include Crunchy Kale Salad, Free Range Chicken Salad Sandwich, Kineapple Farm Bowl, Golden Overnight Oats, In-house Protein Bar and more. In addition to smoothies and snacks, Kineapple also will offer coffee from a rotating list of specialty coffee roasters. The name pays homage to Robby and Neesha’s youngest son, who struggled to say “pineapple” as a child and instead pronounced the name of the fruit with a K instead of a P.
HUGMAN’S OASIS (May 2021)
Named for Robert H. H. Hugman, the visionary architect behind the River Walk, Hugman’s Oasis is a new destination tiki lounge from local restaurateur Chris Hill. San Antonio mixologist and bar owner Jeret Peña and bar manager Maren Erickson have created elevated takes on tiki bar staples, including the Golden Triangle, a tequila-based sour cocktail with Sriracha honey syrup, cilantro, and a black sesame rim, and the Pinagroni, a spin on the traditional Negroni made with pineapple wash campari.
DOMINGO (April 2021)
The River Walk-level restaurant of the new Canopy San Antonio Riverwalk hotel is a tribute to South Texas cuisine. The 3,265-square-foot, three-meal restaurant, helmed by executive chef Arturo Treviño, will feature unique takes on San Antonio and southwest favorites including ceviches, tacos, enchiladas, steaks and fresh fish. The restaurant’s bar focuses on agave-based cocktails rounded out by a selection of craft beers and wine with nonalcoholic cocktail options available.
DEVIL’S RIVER WHISKEY DISTILLERY (March 2021)
Devils River’s new home in the historic Burns Building hosts a working craft distillery with premium tastings and tours, access to live music on the building’s rooftop and a 1920s prohibition-era bar offering craft cocktails. The new distillery will recycle non-potable water for its production process and plans to donate spent grains to area farmers as protein for cattle.
LITTLE RHEIN PROST HAUS (March 2021)
Little Rhein Prost Haus, an authentic German beer garden, opened in the historic Otto Bombach House at La Villita. Little Rhein Prost Haus, “prost” meaning cheers in German, offers over 20 draft beers imported from Munich or craft-brewed locally and the largest selection of schnapps in the U.S. The menu is comprised of German fare including various schnitzels, German potato salads, brats and sausages of all types, sauerkraut, red cabbage, homemade beer cheese, German grain mustards, apple strudel, burgers, chicken sandwiches, salads and more. Indoor and outdoor seating with two levels of patios on the River Walk.
LANDRACE (February 2021)
Noted San Antonio chef Steve McHugh launched Landrace, a restaurant focused on Texas-grown ingredients prepared largely on a wood-burning grill, in the new Thompson Hotel in the Arts District. The 200-seat restaurant serves dishes such as steak au poivre in which the beef is crusted with ground chile pequin, charbroiled Gulf oysters topped with New Orleans-style barbecue sauce, Berkshire pork chops with pear butter and other dishes. The setting evokes warm mid-century modernism with upholstered seating and custom-designed patterned screens in rose gold. A showstopping bar and a semi-open kitchen showcasing a wood-fired grill contributes to the inviting ambiance. Beyond the main dining room, Landrace offers two expansive private dining rooms, one of which features views of the River Walk.
THE MOON’S DAUGHTER (February 2021)
The restaurant and bar at the new Thompson Hotel is helmed by chef Robert Cantu, a San Antonio native who’s cooked in kitchens across Texas and the Midwest. The 20th-floor rooftop restaurant has a Mediterranean approach with a menu of small plates designed for sharing, many made with local ingredients. The offerings include house-made feta burrata cheese with pesto, lamb ragu with hummus and pita, stuffed leek kebabs with squash and cashew cheese and other dishes.
RE:ROOTED 210 URBAN WINERY (February 2021)
Re:Rooted 210 Urban Winery brings Texas wine to Hemisfair, making it the first winemaking and tasting room facility in downtown San Antonio. Featuring six wines on tap and dozens of bottled wines, this urban winery specializes in local wine education and serving only Texas wines.
BRASSERIE MON CHOU CHOU (December 2020)
Chef Laurent Réa and Southerleigh Hospitality opened this casual take on French comfort food at Pearl. The brasserie – a casual alternative to French fine dining – offers simplified takes on dishes including steak frites, lyonnaise salad, escargot, oysters, domestic and imported cheese plateau, raclette and baguette, braised Texas rabbit in Dijon mustard sauce. The bar offers handcrafted cocktails such as the ‘Pink French Fairy’ gin fizz featuring Citadelle gin, egg white, fresh lemon and wild strawberry liquor.
BEST QUALITY DAUGHTER (November 2020)
Local culinary team Jennifer Hwa Dobbertin and Quealy Watson, chefs and owners of Tenko Ramen, opened an Asian-American concept at Pearl. The menu includes Thai curry babaganoush; crispy fried pig ears; and chorizo, egg and cheese potstickers. Noodles and rice selections include mochi gnocchi with sauce mornay and Chinese sausage, and phat kaphrao pork fried rice. Best Quality Daughter features dishes pulled from Dobbertin’s travels and comfort food from her youth as a first-generation, Chinese-American with heavy Chinese, South Texas and Southeast Asian influences.
CHILAQUIL (October 2020)
Created by husband-wife duo, Orlando and Susana Aguirre, Chilaquil is a Mexican street food concept inspired by traditional Mexican dishes. Formerly a popular food truck located on Broadway St., Chilaquil is set to open its first brick and mortar location at Pearl’s Bottling Department food hall. Chilaquil’s menu offers traditional Mexican street and comfort food fare, with its focus being chilaquiles, a Mexican comfort food consisting of tortilla chips covered in salsa, cheese, and more. Chilaquil’s more elaborate versions of the traditional dish also includes choices of beans, eggs, avocado, chicken, steak, pork, and nopalitos.
JARDIN AT THE SAN ANTONIO BOTANICAL GARDEN (September 2020)
Guests will walk back in time as they enter the new restaurant inside the historic Daniel J. Sullivan Carriage House originally built in 1896. Nestled on 38-acres of natural beauty of the San Antonio Botanical Garden, the location makes for a picturesque fine dining experience. Jardin’s menu focuses on regions around the Mediterranean Sea featuring Greek, Italian, Spanish, Turkish and slight Moroccan influences. A full bar offers frozen Bellini’s, as well as a classic cocktail program and a wine list highlighting boutique selection of new and old-world wineries. During the warmer months, visitors can enjoy eating outside in Gertie’s Garden, a large outdoor patio area shaded by mature Texas ash trees; the patio also showcases colorful annual plantings and provides easy access to the formal and display gardens.
SOUTHERLEIGH HAUTE SOUTH (September 2020)
Southerleigh Haute South, a new fine casual concept from the team behind Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery at Pearl, will open at The Rim in north San Antonio September 2020. The new concept will offer brunch, lunch, dinner and happy hour. Southerleigh Haute South will feature a menu based on Southern-style food including Southerleigh’s signature fried chicken, biscuits and a full oyster bar, paired with Southerleigh’s locally brewed beers. The restaurant will also feature a unique cocktail program and an approachable wine list. The 4,100 square-foot space will seat 120 guests with ample indoor and outdoor space.
MI ROTI (July 2020)
A new concept has debuted at Pearl’s Bottling Department Food Hall. An eatery by chef and owner Nicola Blaque of the popular San Antonio spot, Jerk Shack, Mi Roti takes inspiration from the West Indies and Caribbean. Mi Roti offers a “build your own” roti menu to include a choice of a protein, rice and an array of toppings. Roti refers to both the flat bread itself as well as the popular street food item, in which the roti is folded around a savory filling in the form of a wrap.
MI FAMILIA DE MI TIERRA (November 2019)
For decades, the Cortez family have operated famous Tex-Mex restaurants in Historic Market Square, and now opened their first establishment on the north side of San Antonio at popular shopping district The Rim. Located a short distance from The Shops at La Cantera, La Cantera Resort & Spa and Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Mi Familia serves breakfast, lunch and dinner composed of Tex-Mex bestsellers from their downtown restaurants along with new offerings. Mexican sweet breads and candies from the famous Mi Tierra bakery also are available.
MR. JUICY (June 2019)
Celebrated chef Andrew Weissman tackles the art of the burger with his latest concept, Mr. Juicy, in the Olmos Parks neighborhood just a few miles north of downtown. Featuring house-made poppyseed challah buns, this restaurant’s slogan “home of the wet burger,” translates to the addition of a peppery au poivre sauce to enhance the burger experience. Add a salted caramel chocolate shake and crispy double blanched fries for a complete Mr. Juicy experience.
MAVERICK WHISKEY (May 2019)
The legend goes, Samuel Augustus Maverick left a jug of whiskey to be passed among the heroes who died at the Alamo after being elected to represent San Antonio de Bexar in the new Republic of Texas. Kenneth Maverick’s great (x3) grandfather Sam Maverick lived and went on to sign the Texas Declaration of Independence and became The Maverick for which all others were named. The Maverick and Alamo Whiskeys live on. All spirits at Maverick are handmade in San Antonio and aged in Texas-made Oak barrels in the tradition of the original Alamo Whiskey from 1836. Maverick Whiskey’s distillery, tasting saloon and gathering space is housed in the restored Historic Lockwood Bank Building (1918). The menu includes some Texas favorites and new spins such as Chicken Fried Quail, Bison Filet and Mushroom Ceviche.
LITTLE DEATH WINE BAR (March 2019)
Located on the St. Mary’s Strip inside a renovated former gas station covered from ground to roof in colorful street art, Little Death makes drinking wine fun and approachable. The 550-square foot space is an intimate setting designed to encourage patrons to try something new or share a bottle with friends. A small selection of bar snacks and cheeses are also available.
SAVOR: NEW CULINARY INSTITUTE OF AMERICA RESTAURANT (January 2019)
The Culinary Institute of America’s (CIA) San Antonio campus debuted SAVOR, its new student-run concept, in January 2019. Located in San Antonio’s popular Pearl district, adjacent to the CIA campus, the restaurant focuses on modern-American cuisine and the menu features local ingredients from Texas farmers and ranchers. There is also a full bar and curated wine and beer lists. The school’s world-class chefs and hospitality instructors lead the students who prepare and serve dinner as part of their associate degree studies.
LA GLORIA AND BURGERTECA – AT&T CENTER (November 2018)
Chef Johnny Hernandez brings San Antonio Spurs fans a taste of his local Mexican cuisine favorites La Gloria and Burgerteca to the AT&T Center. Located in Section 200, and available to all levels of the center, the new culinary destination features La Gloria’s popular Mexican street foods and reimagined classic hamburgers with a Mexican twist at Burgerteca. A premium bar anchors the space, offering rare tequilas, fusion blends, signature margaritas and more.
MEADOW NEIGHBORHOOD EATERY AND BAR (September 2018)
One of northern San Antonio’s newest gourmet, chef-lead restaurants, Meadow features inventive dishes and hearty staples such as biscuits and fried chicken, creamed corn fritters and charcoal grilled ribeye. Owners, Chef PJ and Lindsey Edwards, work together with local farmers to curate the menu. The pair both come from strong restaurant backgrounds. PJ was formerly with Contigo in Austin, and Lindsey was previously part of the Jason Dady Restaurant Group.
TRE TRATTORIA AT THE SAN ANTONIO MUSEUM OF ART (June 2018)
Dining amid centuries-old art has come back to the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA). Nationally known Chef Jason Dady, who competed last year on Iron Chef Gauntlet, has moved and reconcepted his Italian trattoria, Tre Trattoria. In addition to menu favorites—house-made pastas, cast-iron flatbread pizzas and a variety of antipasti—Dady features a selection of items to complement the museum’s exhibitions.
Located just north of downtown near Pearl, diners will find a family-friendly spot with a large outdoor playground, live music weekends and under the tree-lined patio. Pitmaster Laura Loomis was honored on Eater Young Guns list in 2017.
Major Projects & Neighborhoods
BRACKENRIDGE PARK RESTORATION (SPRING 2026)
The Brackenridge Conservancy is working on a two-phase effort to improve infrastructure, natural areas, and water quality along the two-mile stretch of the San Antonio River that runs through the park. This will restore historic features and buildings, improve river flow, restore and interpret the 1776 Spanish dam and acequia, restore and interpret the 1878 Water Works Pumphouse, rebuild the 1930’s era WPA river walls, and clean natural areas to improve walkability with new and improved trails.
- Phase 1: Lambert Beach Zone (completion Spring 2024)
- Repair and stabilize river side of pumphouse
- Repair and rebuild Lambert Beach walls and stairs
- Rebuild historic staircase on NE side of Lambert Beach
- Grading and earthwork improvements
- Address trees impacting cultural resources
- Phase 2: Acequia and Upper Labor Zone (completion Spring 2026)
- Restore upper labor lily pond
- Uncover and stabilize upper labor dam
- Dredge and repair historic acequia
- Rehabilitate historic pumphouse
- Improve pedestrian circulation
- Reveal historic pumphouse arches
- Reduce unproductive hardscape
- Re-water the historic raceway
- Provide native trees and landscaping
- Grading and earthwork stabilization
- Utilities consolidation
- Interpret historic features
- Provide connection to future Spirit Reach Trail
THE ALAMO PLAN
The Alamo Plan encompasses both restoration of historic buildings and new construction projects, all with the goals of fostering reverence and dignity at one of the most important sites in Texas history. The plan aims to memorialize those who lived, fought and died at the Alamo, and share the stories of more than 300 years of Alamo history with an enhanced visitor experience that is both moving and informative. The Alamo Plan includes:
- Restoring the 1836 Battlefield footprint, including the closure of city streets to further delineate the site, and fostering a spirit of dignity and reverence on the sacred grounds. The portion of Alamo Street that runs in front of the Church today is now closed to vehicular traffic, allowing visitors to explore the historic footprint of the mission more freely
- Preserving the 300-year-old Church and Long Barrack, the last remaining structures from the 1836 Battle of the Alamo
- Construction of the new Exhibition Hall and Collections Building (scheduled to open in 2022), which provides state-of-the-art facilities for special exhibitions and storage to ensure the long-term care of the Alamo collection
- Construction of the new Visitor Center and Museum, repurposing the historic Crockett Block and Woolworth buildings on the west side of the Alamo Plaza to provide 40,000 square feet of gallery space for dynamic installations of the Alamo’s collection of original documents and artifacts that deepen visitors’ understanding of history
- Creating new programming that expands upon the stories that preceded and precipitated the 1836 Battle of the Alamo, and its enduring impact on the development of Texas, the United States, and our lives today
- Renovating Alamo Hall and transforming it into an education center for children, families, and visitors of all ages
SAN PEDRO CREEK CULTURE PARK
San Antonio is in the process of transforming the historic San Pedro Creek, heavily utilized during the Spanish colonial era, from a concrete-lined drainage ditch back into a natural creek habitat and world-class linear park. This $175 million redevelopment will reflect San Pedro Creek’s rich history and create a sense of place by making the two-mile stretch more accessible with hike and bike trails and through the addition of public art by local and international artists. The first phase of the creek’s transformation opened in May 2018 as a part of Bexar County’s Tricentennial celebration. It features installations from prominent San Antonio artists including murals, ceramic art, tiled benches and historical text and poetry.
BROOKS DEVELOPMENT TO ADD THREE NEW RESTAURANTS AND BREWERY
Brooks, a former Air Force base now transformed into a blossoming mixed-use community on San Antonio’s southside, will house four popular locally based restaurant concepts to open in 2021. Chef Johnny Hernandez will bring his popular existing concept La Gloria (Mexican street foods) as well as new concept El Machito (Mexican barbecue). Chef Jeff Balfour will open an outpost of his new fine casual concept restaurant, a Southern-style food menu and brewery, Southerleigh Haute South. Balfour has also announced the opening of a new 6,000-square-foot Southerleigh Brewery and tasting room on the Brooks campus.
NEW ADDITIONS TO PEARL
Long hailed as the home of Pearl Beer, this former brewery from the 1800s has been reimagined into a bustling neighborhood along the San Antonio River Walk. Its mix of reuse and new developments is home to Hotel Emma, the Culinary Institute of America’s San Antonio campus, local boutiques, chef-driven restaurants and a farmers’ market on Saturday and Sunday. Additional offerings include The Bottling Department, a food hall featuring five restaurant concepts and a bar area from top local chefs and restauranteurs, Hiatus Spa, as well as new events, and culinary celebrations.
The most recent addition is 1100 Springs Plaza, a new space for visitors to relax, socialize and enjoy a meal. Located in front of the Full Goods Building, it includes a beautiful water structure crafted from recycled materials and consists of two rectangular pools that hold freshwater, an aquatic basin, and a treated lower water basin which lit up in the evenings.
HEMISFAIR GETS A FRESH LOOK
A three-phase renovation project is enhancing the downtown experience by bringing additional open parkland, activities, restaurants and more to Hemisfair, the home of the 1968 World’s Fair. Yanaguana Garden, the first phase of the project, features a 4.1-acre play environment designed for all ages and abilities, a splash pad and eateries including Paleteria San Antonio, Dough Pizzeria Napoletana, Commonwealth Coffeehouse, Re:Rooted 210, Lick Honest Ice Creams, Box Street All Day, and the nearby ’68 Apartments. Hemisfair reached a milestone at the end of 2022, welcoming four million visitors since its opening in 2015. As the redevelopment moves forward, visitors will see the addition of new buildings and renovations of historic structures including retail shops, workforce housing, a hotel, cultural and educational amenities, and additional restaurants.
In 2023, four late nineteenth-century homes will soon be renovated to welcome Kunstler Tap and Brat-Haus, Bombay Bicycle Club, Jerk Shack, and Kusch Faire, the newest concept by the owners of DASHI Sichuan Kitchen + Bar.
In March 2023, a new toddler play area will be added on the shore of the historic Acequia Madre, adjacent to the Bank of America Promenade. It will include five climbable vignettes that mimic a garden.
In the fall 2023, Hemisfair will open “Civic Park” an addition of five acres of public parkland which includes a shared promenade, the Springs (a five-pooled water feature), and the Great Lawn, to welcome large events up to 15,000 people.
BROADWAY CULTURAL CORRIDOR
Just north of downtown, Broadway Street connects many of San Antonio’s significant cultural attractions including the San Antonio Museum of Art, The DoSeum, Brackenridge Park, Witte Museum, San Antonio Zoo, Japanese Tea Gardens, San Antonio Botanical Garden and the McNay Art Museum. In addition, revitalization is occurring rapidly on this stretch of Broadway from just north of downtown to Brackenridge Park, and the city is planning a $42 million project to transform the stretch of street into a landscaped boulevard that is bike and pedestrian-friendly. In addition to outstanding cultural institutions, visitors will find local favorites such as the Shops at Broadway News, a collection of mobile retailers selling a variety of unique items, JoyRide Cycling Studio and Brown Coffee Co., which was noted by Food Network host Alton Brown as having the “best cup of coffee in the world” along the corridor.
At the southern tip of historic downtown lies Southtown, an eclectic arts district set apart by its intermingling of 1800s German architecture, repurposed warehouses, art galleries and now an alluring culinary scene. Longtime dining favorites such as Taco Haven and the Guenther House are sidling up next to newer eateries such as Southtown Pizzeria, an artisan pizzeria influenced by the owners’ time living in an old farmhouse near Florence, and Battalion, a creation from chef Stefan Bowers and restaurateur Andrew Goodman that is housed inside a renovated firehouse offering a menu of indulgent Italian dishes. Another popular Southtown stop is the Liberty Bar, a San Antonio favorite with a made-from-scratch menu that is housed in a hot pink former convent.
TRANSPORTATION VIA VIVA BUS ROUTES
VIVA is a new service line from VIA Metropolitan Transit that takes you to the most-visited sites and attractions in the heart of San Antonio. Three distinct VIVA routes connect riders with historic places, opportunities to learn and discover, classic and contemporary art, and popular dining and entertainment spots. There’s something for everyone on VIVA, including stops at the San Antonio Missions World Heritage Site, the Alamo, King William Historic District, Southtown, Downtown, Market Square, the River Walk, Pearl, and the South Broadway corridor.
RECORD NUMBER OF FLIGHTS FROM SAN ANTONIO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
With a record number of additional nonstop flights recently announced, it’s easier and faster than ever to get to San Antonio. San Antonio has year-round and seasonal routes to 53 destinations. The airport is among the fastest growing medium-hubs in the U.S., with more than 10 million travelers flying in and out of San Antonio in 2019.
Media information, photos and video: media.visitsanantonio.com
About Visit San Antonio:
Visit San Antonio is a 501(c)6, and serves as the sales and marketing arm of San Antonio as a leading leisure and meetings destination. San Antonio welcomes 41 million visitors annually. Hospitality is one of the top five industries in the city, contributing $15.2 billion into the local economy and employing more than 140,000. More information about Visit San Antonio can be found at VisitSanAntonio.com.