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December 23, 2020 Slideshows » Food & Drink

29 San Antonio restaurants and bars we said goodbye to in 2020 

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Due to pandemic-related hardships, lease adjustments and changing tastes, San Antonio lost plenty of bars and restaurants this year.

The casualties included storied favorites such as Spaghetti Warehouse and downtown's Cadillac Bar as well as relative newcomers like Mo's Irish Pub.

We went back to the beginning of the year and tallied nearly 30 high-profile Alamo City eateries that were permanently shuttered this year — all of which left their mark on our culinary history, one plate at a time.
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Cookhouse
720 E.Mistletoe Ave.
Arguably the most elevated taken New Orleans cuisine, Cookhouse will permanently close its doors to welcome a new concept from co-owner Susan Sypesteyn. Golden Wat Noodle House, will be a Cambodian concept that will marry Indian and Chinese traditions in a culinary love letter to the dishes of Sypesteyn’s upbringing.
Photo via Instagram / the_cookhouse
La Botanica
2911 N. St. Mary's St.
Though Texas' first 100% vegan restaurant and full bar survived the initial wave of COVID-19 closures, the local favorite was denied a new lease by its landlord and was fated to close in October. Since it's opening in 2015, La Botanica served the community thoughtful, nutritious vegan eats and drinks, and provided a safe, inclusive and LGBTQ-friendly event space.
Photo via Instagram / labotanicasa
Mexican Manhattan
110 Soledad St.
After more than sixty years of serving San Antonio, downtown fixture Mexican Manhattan Restaurant permanently closed in late October. The River Walk staple served tacos, chili con carne and margaritas off Soledad Street northeast of Main Plaza and on an extensive patio overlooking the Paseo del Rio.
Photo via Instagram / joehouston_09
Madhatters Tea House and Cafe
320 Beauregard St.
Madhatters owners Joey and Gina Cuellar had been planning to retire, even before the pandemic hit, which provided a unique opportunity for restauranteur Roger Herr to acquire the building. Herr plans to create a new concept in the space, Bar Loretta, which will offer modern takes on classic Texas dishes as well as a small market.
Photo via Instagram / notesonlife2012
Cadillac Bar
212 S Flores St.
This iconic downtown watering hole closed its doors after serving the courthouse-area community ice cold brews and post-proceedings shots for decades. According to the bar’s website, the building was constructed in the 1870s and features what are said to be the first electric streetlights in Texas.
Photo via Instagram / texas.is.the.reason
Big Lou’s Burgers and BBQ
2014 S WW White Rd #1120
Owner Brian Lujan said the 20-year-old offshoot of famed Big Lou’s Pizza had "been having some difficulties" keeping the business afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, and eventually had to close the doors. The locally-operated flagship joint — Big Lou’s Pizza, home of the 42” pie — still slings the saucy treats.
Photo via Instagram / biglousburgersandbbq
Avocado Cafe
18771 FM 2252
Family-owned Avocado Cafe & Juice Bar has been serving vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free vittles to the Northeast side for nearly a decade. Following the death of the family patriarch Scott Floyd last year, however, the rest of the family put the cozy, health-conscious eatery up for sale.
Photo via Instagram / avocadocafesa
Casa Azul de Andrea
1036 S. Alamo St.
In February, this Frida-inspired eatery closed its doors after more than three years of serving tortas, tacos, street corn and cocktails in Southtown. The restaurant — which hosted a popular Sunday brunch as well as local art events — went out on a high note, thanking their following for the support over the years.
Photo via Instagram / casaazuldeandrea
Cooter Browns Saloon
11881 Bandera Road
Citing pandemic-related statewide restrictions, lack of a kitchen and a lease agreement that doesn't allow permanent parking for food trucks, the venue's management said it had no other option but to close just a few days before Halloween.
Photo via Instagram / atcashman
Ruben's Backyard
13838 Jones Maltsberger Road
Ruben’s offered a huge backyard space for families to enjoy their Mexican plates, burgers and sandwiches, plus a full bar for those really just wanting a weekend marg. Ruben’s closed suddenly in January, citing owner Ruben Sepulveda’s retirement.
Photo via Instagram / trustartz
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The Luxury
103 E Jones Ave.
Crack fries and craft beer; that’s what Luxury is made of. Chef Andrew Weissman’s popular Museum Reach eatery closed in January, allowing for his team to focus on developing a second Luxury concept in Terminal A of San Antonio International Airport. Elsewhere Garden Bar & Kitchen now occupies the space.
Photo via Instagram / theluxurysa
Volare Pizza
5054 Broadway St.
This longstanding Broadway pizzeria served as Volare Pizza’s home base for more than 30 years before shuttering this summer. All operations have been moved to the historic building known for being the former home of the Olmos Pharmacy, where the eatery’s pizzas, pastas and calzones continue to satisfy.
Photo via Instagram / volarepizzasa
The Spaghetti Warehouse
1226 E Houston St.
San Antonio landmark Spaghetti Warehouse was unable to weather the pandemic and closed its doors permanently after decades in operation, leaving many San Antonians with just memories of the ever-present stained glass, kitschy decor and bustling dining room.
Photo via Instagram / lindakuehl
Still Golden Social House
1900 Broadway St.
Popular Broadway spot Still Golden Social House will eventually be reopened inside a new development on the block, but to us, it’ll never be the same. From the Jeff Goldblum collage in the women’s restroom to the incredible cocktails, Still Golden was a place you could relax and really enjoy the attitude of SA.
Photo via Instagram / stillgoldensocialhouse
Eastside Kitchenette
2119 N IH 35
Known for its hearty comfort food and homey vibes, Eastside Kitchenette opened to glowing reviews and full dining rooms back in May of 2019. When dining rooms were shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the Eastside spot couldn’t keep up.
Photo via Instagram / eastside_kitchenette
Maybelle's Donuts
312 Pearl Parkway
Known for unique and delicious donuts and fried pies, Maybelle’s was the resident sweet shack inside the Pearl’s Bottling Department food hall. While it technically closed on December 31, we’re still counting it, because we can’t resist sharing photos of gorgeous donuts.
Photo via Instagram / skyybites
The Good Kind at the Pearl
312 Pearl Parkway
Health-conscious joint The Good Kind shuttered its Pearl location to focus on other concepts by owner Tim McDiarmid: The Good Kind Southtown, Ivy Hall Events and Tim the Girl Catering. The Southtown iteration of the restaurant still serves up its fresh eats and boozy drinks, plus wide open spaces for socially-distanced events and live music.
Photo via Instagram / goodkindpearl
El Bosque Mexican Restaurant
12656 West Ave
After more than 40 years in business, El Bosque Mexican Restaurant on SA’s North side closed earlier this month, citing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. El Bosque shared space with Two Bros. BBQ Market in a shady oak grove near Austin Highway. Owner Carmen Gonzalez hopes to reopen the concept at a different, smaller location in the future.
Photo via Instagram / do210
Walk-On’s Bistreaux and Bar
11075 IH 10 W Suite 200
Walk-On’s — owned in part by New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees — closed one of its two local locations earlier this month, citing the COVID-19 pandemic as a key part in the decision to shut down the Northwest SA outlet. There are currently no plans to close the Walk-On's location in the Hollywood Park neighborhood.
Photo via Instagram / gatormillworks
Hearthstone BakeryCafe
4212 McCullough Ave.
This Olmos Park-area bakery and cafe boasted a large menu of sandwiches, soups, salads and baked goods until its closure in November, leaving just one other location in operation in the Alamo City. Dedicated fans can still get a cup of Hearthstone coffee at the remaining Harry Wurzbach Road location.
Photo courtesy of Hearthstone BakeryCafe
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Bar Louie
22610 US Highway 281 N #105
Texas-based gastropub chain Bar Louie filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in late January, and closed 38 of its restaurants, including the Stone Oak location. If sometimes rowdy weekend crowds and DJ sets are your thing, don’t fret. The La Cantera location continues to do business.
Photo via Instagram / barlouie
Canyon Cafe
255 East Basse Road #600
“We hope you remember our chips & salsa, limit-2 Margaritas and chocolate tamales fondly,” read a Facebook post on the Canyon Cafe page earlier this year. The post lamented that, while the restaurant had gotten through some tough times in the past, COVID-19 was just too much to bear.
Photo via Facebook / CanyonCafeSanAntonio
Baklövah Bakery & Cafe
403 Blue Star #106
Baklövah Bakery & Cafe, from the family behind Pasha Mediterranean Grill, opened in Southtown in 2019, offering Middle Eastern sweets and lunchtime snacks including shawarma, gyros, wraps and salads. While the Blue Star location was short-lived, an older version of Baklövah remains, on Wurzbach Road.
Photo via Facebook / BaklovaCafe
Bella on Houston
204 E Houston St.
Though an announcement on Bella on Houston’s website states that the restaurant is temporarily closed to help reduce the potential spread of COVID-19, chatter on social media said otherwise. A direct inquiry confirmed that the Houston Street eatery has, indeed, closed permanently.
Photo via Instagram / bellaonhouston
Bite
1012 S Presa St.
Bite’s menu was always colorful and unique, and you could rarely get a table for a large group at brunch because the place was packed. Fans were shocked when chef Lisa Astorga announced in January that the bistro's lease was up and the colorful spot would have to close. Astorga hopes to reincarnate her themed brunches, over-the-top Bloody Marys and her signature flair in another venue in the future.
Photo via Instagram / biterestaurantsa
Zedric's
Various Locations
In a May 29 blog post, Zedric’s owner Zach Lutton announced that the team had decided to close two of their three locations. The Quarry and Stone Oak stores had seen “a substantial drop in sales as a consequence of COVID-19,” and all operations of the chef-prepared, ready-to-eat meal venture would move to their original Colonnade location.
Photo via Instagram / zedrics
Gourdough's Public House
215 Losoya St.
Austin-based Gourdough's opened its first San Antonio location on the famed Riverwalk to pretty impressive fanfare, but it wasn’t enough to keep the location afloat. Gourdough’s San Antonio filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection May 6.
Photo via Instagram / quimmble
Mo's Irish Pub
1025 University Drive #101
Housed in a former Joe’s Crab Shack building, Mo’s Irish Pub opened up on St Patrick’s Day last year, boasting an impressive variety of craft beers, comforting Irish and American pub food and a killer Kelly Green paint job on the exterior of the building. Unfortunately, the venue didn’t quite make it to its first anniversary, and shut down the first week of March.
Photo via Instagram / mosirishpubsanantonioqu
Munch On and Beyond
13469 Wetmore Rd.
After nearly four years of offering plant-based foods, beverages and a robust weekly vegan buffet to San Antonio, Munch On and Beyond closed its doors in January, thanking the community for their patronage over the years. Regular patrons raved about the meatless chili and extensive juice options.
Photo via Instagram / likefoodloveddrink
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Cookhouse
720 E.Mistletoe Ave.
Arguably the most elevated taken New Orleans cuisine, Cookhouse will permanently close its doors to welcome a new concept from co-owner Susan Sypesteyn. Golden Wat Noodle House, will be a Cambodian concept that will marry Indian and Chinese traditions in a culinary love letter to the dishes of Sypesteyn’s upbringing.
Photo via Instagram / the_cookhouse

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