War Room (fka Limelight) bunkers down on North St. Mary's

Stepping into the Limelight: War Room owners Edward Preston and Scott Andreu - Michael Barajas
Michael Barajas
Stepping into the Limelight: War Room owners Edward Preston and Scott Andreu

The North St. Mary's strip has been a go-to spot for generations of live music aficionados, weeknight dance addicts, cheap drink revelers, and local college kids. Through the years (decades really), "The Strip" has gone through ups and downs, various ownership changes, and cultural transformations along with its clientele. Recent changes along The Strip, and the outward growth of our city, have left some fearing the dissipation of one of our most vibrant and consistent (if shape-shifting) night life scenes. Enter War Room.

Housed at the storied 2718 N St Mary's address (most recently Limelight since 2006, but previously Strutter's and Whacky's), War Room looks to be a key player in a new push to return to and even surpass previous boozy glory. Owned by local entrepreneurs and longtime music biz veterans Scott Andreu (founder/CEO of Texas is Funny Records) and Edward Preston, War Room seeks to specifically reinvigorate the live music mission of the venue.

"Our vision is to offer San Antonio as much quality live music entertainment as possible, including notable touring acts from across the nation, in an environment that is unique and inviting, and crowned with great service," Preston, who officially took over the building on November 14, told the Current. Other changes we can expect will include a full '90s-style arcade room in the front, a new openness to 18 and up shows, renovations to the bathrooms and patio, and (in the course of the next year) improved light and sound systems. And there's already a spiffy new coat of paint on the walls. Generally speaking, Andreu and Preston hope War Room will become a place known for its quirky but clean atmosphere and, above all, the quality of the live music experience it can offer. In the coming weeks, the venue has already secured shows by Cheschi (Dec 28), Japanther (Dec 30), T-Bird and the Breaks (Jan 5), and Emily Bell (Jan 15). So what else can we expect? When The Current sat down with him last week, Andreu didn't mince words: "No smells." Always a plus.

Apart from the promising new venture War Room, there are several other notable reasons to reinvestigate life on The Strip. In the void left by Salute's recent (and lamentable) departure, we are promised a new venture from new owner (and former owner of Limelight) Casey Lange. Meanwhile, Web House has moved to the old Enchilada Warehouse location, Hi-Tones owner Danny Delgado and partners are bringing The Faust Tavern to the old Web House location, Brass Monkey Video Bar seems to be thriving, Tycoon Flats has purchased Café Latino, and Mojo's and the old Club Venom sit promisingly empty. Whether you're looking to discover or reconsider The Strip as a regular hangout spot, there are sure to be plenty of fresh happenings over the coming year.