San Antonio's Oscar de la Tienda closes doors, blames construction woes

The shop has served as community space since 2021 but faced setbacks when construction made it hard to access.

click to enlarge Oscar de la Tienda faced financial woes due to road construction, its owner said. - Brandon Rodriguez
Brandon Rodriguez
Oscar de la Tienda faced financial woes due to road construction, its owner said.
Editor's note: This story was updated to include a comment from city officials on the construction and to correct the name of new building tenant Midtown Meetup.

After two years of operation, eclectic Alta Vista corner store Oscar de la Tienda has permanently shut its doors. The shop announced its immediate closure Sunday via Instagram.

"If you haven’t been here in a while you might not have heard," the online post read. "This is our last weekend in this space."

The funky blue shop has served as community space since 2021. It served as a convenience store, a hub for artists and a springboard for other businesses, including the Wicked Wich sandwich shop, which started at a counter inside before relocating to Fredericksburg Road.

Shortly after opening, Oscar de la Tienda faced financial woes due to road construction in the area, according to its owners. In December 2022, the business launched a GoFundMe to raise $15,000.

"With limited access to our location, bringing in enough revenue to survive has become an insurmountable challenge," the GoFundMe reads. "We have been hanging on by a thread, operating at 25% of what average revenues should be and are currently unable to keep up with operating expenses and needed repairs."

In the end, the shop at 801 W. Russell Place raised $5,178.

The entire building will be taken over by new tenant Midtown Meetup, which will offer community-centered programming such as yoga, Oscar de la Tienda owner Cynthia Gomez told the Current. An adjacent space, The Green Room — a performance space located in the structure — will continue to host shows through October before closing.

Gomez told the Current that the road construction led to decreased customers and mounting debt, leaving her little choice but to shutter the store.

In an emailed statement, a City of San Antonio spokesman said work crews placed detour signs directing traffic to Oscar De La Tienda during the construction project, which began in spring 2022. City officials also provided information on resources and grants to the owner, although the business didn't qualify for COVID-19 Impact grants because it wasn't open during the pandemic, according to the email.

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