San Antonio Historic Association for Riverwalk Authenticity.

I have a cold.  And Benadryl.  I’ve suffered through the former, and abused the latter.  I am very tired yet cannot sleep.  Forgive my rambling.

I see on the news that yet another local San Antonio restaurant is being booted off of our historic RiverWalk by another global “we all look the same, and taste the same (like a paper bag type of bland) chain restaurant”.

So I want to start a new group that will not only lobby the city for ordinance changes to protect the authenticity of our city, but also educates the tourism population through education.  Maybe a flyer under their hotel door.  Maybe people picketing on the RiverWalk.

It would be interesting to be standing on the Riverwalk explaining to people that they didn’t have to fly across the country to eat at a damn Hooter’s (even though the Hooter’s girls in Texas are without doubt the best in the world!).

While recent business wins have made San Antonio an up and coming economic leader in US cities through job growth, low cost of living,  and major business wins (Toyota, Washington Mutual, AT&T, etc) we are at the same time (and at the same too-fast rate) losing who we are as a city.  We are undoing San Antonio, and left unchecked we’ll end up something completely different.  Something without a soul – something with individuality.  We’ll become just another big city.


  1. AH! Yes, the Southern Baptists.. I see .. so that when the women go to church, they don’t accidently run into their husbands…. Yup. Makes sense… better keep churches and ‘clubs’ a good distance apart!

  2. I’m afraid it really is a rule.  And a weird one.  I’m sure our Southern Baptists here had more than a little bit to do with it.

  3. Is that really a rule? No gentleman’s Club close to a church?
    I have heard of separation of church and state, never of separation of church and Gentleman Clubs!

    What are they afraid of? That those devout church-goers won’t make it past the "Club"? These two business sectors aren’t exactly in competition. Or is it just a scam to keep the "Clubs" out of town: there are SO many churches, chances of finding a good location for a "Club" are close to zero: they might as well have ruled that a "Club" can’t be close to a gas station (nah.. San Antonio has way more churches than gas stations).And what is the rationale for ‘not close to schools’? Kids wandering into the wrong building? Or do they think all "Club" goers are potential child molesters? Or are people afraid they have to answer ‘difficult’ kids’ questions Or could it be that nobody actually reasonably and rationally THOUGHT about it? Could it be?

  4. No – these business owner’s didn’t own the building, but some had leased them for as long as 17 years – on the landlord’s terms, and they had paid the rent and are being booted out not because they were not profitable, but because chains can be much more profitable, and the landlord gets a windfall.  In some cases restraunt owners are even being forced out prior to the end of their existing leases.

    We get a Riverwalk that looks like any mall anywhere in the country.  Same crappy, bland, over-priced food.  Same shitty service.  I know McDonald’s and Wendy’s survive because people are comfortable going to a restaurant where everything is generally the same, regardless of what state it’s it  – but I don’t think anyone really comes to the Riverwalk to eat Chico’s Mexican crap.  They shouldn’t anyway.  If they are they are missing the point of being in San Antonio. 

    I think it’s worth the tourism dollars for the city to look at finding a way to stop the Riverwalk from becoming the Galleria.  There are plenty of instances where ordinances are passed in "the best interests of the community" – look at "Gentleman’s Clubs" – they can only be built in certain areas, so far from a school, or church (wow – isn’t that mixing government and religion when you dictate that a business can’t exist where it wants to exist simply because their is a church nearby?)

  5. They obviously were not making it well enough or they wouldn’t have sold out. So you are advocating that the person(s) who owned the local business didn’t have the right to sell out for a profit?

  6. No, you make some wrong assumptions.  The current businesses were doing just fine.  They were paying their employees and their landlords.

    Big money (bland food) moves in and offers the landlord a huge sum above what their (until now) good tenant has been paying.

    I understand your point, but if government is ever going to use the right of immanent domain, use it to protect what your city is, what’s made it popular, and what’s made it profitable.

    This is basically just another discussion about "how much is too much" and evidently there are a lot of people in this world that believe they deserve more than they have.  And they are willing to sell anything to get it – even the soul of a city.


  7. It’s called business. If the local resturants can’t make it then an ordinance will only lead to a vacant facility… unless you want local government to also subsidize the business???