Jan 16, 2024 - News

New San Antonio-owned spots to try in 2024

Illustration of competing restaurant neon signs.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

San Antonio's food and drink scene is off to a busy start in 2024 with a list of openings that includes familiar names, expansions, relocations and entirely new concepts.

Why it matters: It's a positive trend after the city was hit with an onslaught of closing announcements in December that claimed favorites like Sari-Sari Supper Club and Sangria on the Burg.

Zoom in: Labor Street Cafe, a Lavaca neighborhood spot owned by Eric Newell, serves traditional breakfast and lunch options like scrambles, omelets and sandwiches, but chef Nicholas Longoria says they're flexible about adding and revising items to fit customer requests.

A stack of thick pancakes with a dallop of butter.
Labor Street Cafe's fluffy pancakes. Photo: Courtesy of Labor Street Cafe

What they're saying: Labor Street Cafe opened on Nov. 27, just before the wave of closings, but Longoria says their mission to build rapport with customers and pursue a community-driven approach is undaunted by the December downturn.

  • "We're focusing on making sure it's what the customer actually wants and trying to hear them," he says.

On the flip side of daytime coffee shops is Ay Que Chula, a bar and restaurant joining the LGBTQ+ nightlife district in the former Luther's location. Owner Ricky Ortiz, who also owns El Camino and Besame, tells Axios his new concept, which softly opened in December, has drink specials, Mexican eats and a "badass brunch."

  • The industry veteran is hopeful 2024 will usher in "success stories" for local owners.

Yes, but: He's also cautious, adding that unprecedented heat last summer "almost ruined" his lineup of businesses, which are largely outdoors.

The bottom line: Ortiz is stressing the importance of community support and calling on residents to eat and drink with locally-owned businesses before it's too late.

  • "Everyone shouts about how much they'll miss a restaurant after they see a closure announcement. If they really do care about local business and want to see San Antonio businesses thrive, they have to make a better effort and spend their dollars with locals," he says.

Pro tip: Keep this list of new or upcoming San Antonio-owned businesses handy for the next time you venture out.

Hook Land & Sea, 875 E. Ashby Place

A bun stuffed with a seafood mix.
A "bun'd" option at Hook. Photo: Courtesy of Embark Marketing

The new concept by Only 1 Hospitality Group (Crème and 1902 Nightclub) is celebrating its grand opening this week. It's the second business to open at The Creamery District, a new mixed-use development.

  • The menu includes Asian-inspired options like chicken banh mi as well as Mexican classics, like fish tacos.

NOLA Brunch & Beignets, 1101 Broadway

The beloved brunch spot will relocate from its location off the St. Mary's Strip to a spot near the San Antonio Museum of Art in the spring.

  • The announcement says the new location will have party space, a walk-up window and much-needed parking.

The Newstand, 1900 Broadway

Four cinnamon rolls arranged on a plate.
An early look at some of The Newstand's baked goods. Photo: Courtesy of Page Pressley

Page Pressley and Dezarey Rodriguez will open The Newstand, a hub for coffee, community, goods and throwback finds in the Jefferson Building in April.

Greenhouse, 221 E. Hildebrand

The team behind the lauded Mixtli is opening a coffee shop in Olmos Park on Jan. 21.

Box St. All Day, 17038 Fiesta Texas Drive

The popular brunch spot's second location opened last week.

Diez Flores, 1010 S. Flores Street

Southtown's newest bar and restaurant, which opened in mid-December, is a celebration of Latino culture with a food and drink menu representing 10 countries.

  • It's a new concept for chef Joel "Tatu" Herrera, who co-owns Folklores Coffee House.

Mimosa Gossip, 2907 N. Loop 1604 East

The new brunch and mimosa bar opened in December in Stone Oak. It's currently in a soft opening phase and does not have a set menu, but is becoming known for having specialty mimosas.

Yozora, 22211 W. I-10 Access Road

Chef Grey Hwang, owner of Shiro, opened the yakitori-focused Japanese restaurant and wine bar at the end of 2023.

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