Bulldozers Raze Most of What Remained of San Antonio Punk Institution Taco Land

click to enlarge Bulldozers Raze Most of What Remained of San Antonio Punk Institution Taco Land
Courtesy of Roland Fuentes
Work crews have demolished most of what still stood of Taco Land, the north-of-downtown dive that served as one of Texas' longest-surviving underground music venues.

Last fall, the city granted approval to developers to make structural changes to the property, including demolishing on-site structures. At the time, the property's owners planned to bring an outlet of Dallas-based restaurant chain Velvet Taco into the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood around The Pearl.

At press time, it's unclear whether that's still the plan or another prospective business has its sights on the property.

The original Taco Land hosted countless local bands in addition to touring acts ranging from the Jesus Lizard to Yo La Tengo. However, the rundown bar wasn't the draw so much as owner Ram Ayala, who served as its profane master of ceremonies.

The original Taco Land closed after Ayala and employee "Gypsy Doug" Morgan were slain in a 2005 robbery.

Local restaurateur Chris Erck later opened a bar at the location unrelated to the original Taco Land. That business closed last spring after the property owners sued Erck for failing to pay rent.

Stay on top of San Antonio news and views. Sign up for our Weekly Headlines Newsletter.


Since 1986, the SA Current has served as the free, independent voice of San Antonio, and we want to keep it that way.

Becoming an SA Current Supporter for as little as $5 a month allows us to continue offering readers access to our coverage of local news, food, nightlife, events, and culture with no paywalls.

Join today to keep San Antonio Current.

Scroll to read more Music Stories & Interviews articles

Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.

Join SA Current Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.