Is Starbucks worried yet? White Elephant Coffee Company has joined the fleet of locally-owned coffee shops in town. The shop, located at 1415 S. Presa, features the usual java drinks, such as cappuccinos, Americanos, lattes and whatnots, along with a few caffeine-free options. Pastries and simple sandwiches are on the way, but owner Jose Carlos De Colina is keeping his focus on roasting great beans in house. White Elephant is open 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.
After a long six-month wait, Jason Dady's Shuck Shack (520 E. Grayson) is finally open. I stopped by over the holiday weekend during its soft opening and was pleasantly surprised by the chill, beachside vibe Dady has managed to hone in on — you could just as well be sitting somewhere in Port A without nasty seagulls flocking your plate. The opening menu had a bit of everything — snacks, sandwiches, bowls of chowdah — and of course, oysters from around New England and the Louisiana coast. There's plenty of local brews and a lineup of cocktails (the "Limonade" is especially appealing during the hot summer nights). Parents will be happy to know there's a playground for the kiddos to scamper around while you toss back a few cocktails. Bonus: there's plenty of parking. Opening hours will continue for dinner through Saturday, followed by the launch of Sunday brunch on July 19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hours will then switch to 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. the following week.
Citrus at Hotel Valencia (150 E. Houston St.) announced the addition of David Gilbert as its new executive chef. Gilbert, who helmed Sustenio's opening and later Tuk Tuk Tap Room, has a lengthy resume, which includes a James Beard semifinalist nod for Best Chef Southwest in 2013.
Meanwhile, predecessor Robbie Nowlin who left the hotel in late June, is hosting his first Hot Wells Summer Nights event, a pizza and beer shindig, on Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m. at 5003 S. Presa St. Message Nowlin on Facebook for details or email him at Umlemo@gmail.com. A portion of the night's proceeds will benefit Haven For Hope.
Finally, The Hangar Bar & Grill (8203 Broadway) is hosting two pup-friendly fundraisers this month to benefit San Antonio Pets Alive. Patrons that stop by on Friday and July 24 from 3 to 7 p.m. and donate to SAPA will receive discounts on their bill (depending on donation amount, so $10 gets you a 10 percent discount and so on).
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