Southtown

Created Monday, 21 May 2007 09:06

San Antonio\’s Southtown

Written by Randy Watson

Since its redevelopment began in 1991, Southtown has become the hippest, diverse, and most unique zone in San Antonio, and certainly the place to go for good food, good art, and good times.  Southtown is really a community development, promotion, and historic preservation organization, which was designed to gentrify the King William, Lavaca, and Blue Star neighborhoods.  And it certainly has been working.

Today, Southtown is home to San Antonio\’s eclectic mix of cowboy, Tejano, Mexican, and southern cultures, existing in a low-lying maze of bungalows, Victorian houses, and Beaux Arts mansions, which provide a calmer, more community-oriented atmosphere than many other parts of the city.  Since its redevelopment began in 1991, Southtown has become the hippest, diverse, and most unique zone in San Antonio, and certainly the place to go for good food, good art, and good times.  Southtown is really a community development, promotion, and historic preservation organization, which was designed to gentrify the King William, Lavaca, and Blue Star neighborhoods.  And it certainly has been working.

Today, Southtown is home to San Antonio\’s eclectic mix of cowboy, Tejano, Mexican, and southern cultures, existing in a low-lying maze of bungalows, Victorian houses, and Beaux Arts mansions, which provide a calmer, more community-oriented atmosphere than many other parts of the city.

What brings most non-residents to Southtown is First Friday, the neighborhood\’s gallery walk which features local merchants selling their wares, musical performances, and all types of delicious foods.  A walk through the streets shows just how diverse San Antonio, and Southtown in particular, really is.  Stores selling Asian furniture exist beside Mexican taquerias, South American handicrafts and art shops, and vintage clothing stores.

Being the arts and cultural center of the city, Southtown definitely always has something interesting going on, even if it isn\’t First Friday.  The dining options are so varied that one could possibly eat a different cuisine each day of the month.  Madhatters Tea offers guests over 50 varieties of tea from China to Morocco, as well as sandwiches, sweets, salads, and brunches.  For those looking for a different take on Latino cuisine, Azuca offers diners a menu fusing Caribbean, Central, and Latin American dishes together in what they describe as, \”Nuevo Latino\” food.  Azuca was also named by the Concierge Association as one of the ten best restaurants in San Antonio in 2004-5.  Anyone looking to hoist a few hand-crafted beers will be welcomed in the Blue Star Brewing Company, which is San Antonio\’s first brewpub.  Featuring delicious beers, great food, and live jazz every Tuesday evening, Blue Star is a great place to relax with old friends, or make new ones.

Southtown is also home to a variety of galleries, art spaces, museums, and workshops.  Such organizations as Jump-Start, a performance company dedicated to educating mostly inner city children about the arts and drama, can be found in the neighborhood.  Urban-15 is another such group that makes its home in Southtown.  Urban-15\’s mission is to mix traditional Latino culture with modern art forms to create a new type of folk art for San Antonio.

As San Antonio grows, so does Southtown, but this eclectic district remains as one of the most authentic in the city.  A walk down South Alamo, St. Mary\’s, South Prensa, or any of the other streets and avenues located in the neighborhood will invite surprises and a variety of discoveries.

...
Posted in Uncategorized.