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Neighborhood notes

Scribbles is our neighborhood news feature. We plan to update it multiple times per week. If you've got a news tip, we'd like to hear from you -- just use our contact form to get in touch. We want to know about business openings and closings, new chefs, new features of existing businesses. We're still feeling our way, so let us know what you think.

- Jim Feuerstein

New 'Scribbles' feature added to Lavaca and Friends

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The Lavaca and Friends website has added a new feature, 'Scribbles', which will feature short news items. Each scribble will report briefly on a bit of neighborhood news -- restaurant openings, changes in hours, gallery openings, special events, and so on.

We'll be looking to you for tips. If you know something we should know, please fill out a contact form and give us the details. Please also give us your name and contact information so we can reach out to you for clarification or more details.

Little Em's Oyster Bar will open Friday

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If you're like us, you've probably noticed that a new place is getting ready to open at 1001 South Alamo, just across Beauregard from Tito's. That space has been a lot of things over the years. It's now about to become an oyster bar.

We spoke with Executive Chef Benjamin Crumley today, and he told us that they're opening on Friday.

The new restaurant -- Little Em's Oyster Bar -- will feature a mix of seafood, salads, and desserts. In addition, Crumley said, he recognizes that not everyone likes seafood, so there will always be some alternatives. To begin, he's putting a burger on the menu, but a steak is in the works.

"We want a menu with choices," he said, "but we're aiming for quality, not quantity."

The new place has both indoor and outdoor seating, and it will serve wine and beer.

Little Em's will be open four days each week, Thursday through Saturday, from 11:00 AM until 10:00 PM, and on Sunday for brunch, 10:00 AM until 3:00 PM.

Julie and Randy's Pizza is back!

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For a long time, some of the best pizza in San Antonio was coming out of Southtown Pizzeria on Presa. Owners Randy and Julie Vrana offered both a standard ‘tossed-crust' pie and a New York style thin-crust version. After Randy's sudden death late last year, the restaurant was sold, but the recipes didn't transfer with the ownership. Those wonderful pizzas — and equally wonderful desserts — disappeared.

They've now resurfaced at Pizzeria Vesuvio, a food truck parked permanently at 1110 South Alamo Street.

The owners are former staff from Southtown Pizzeria: Esteban Alvayero, Ana Mercedes Linares, and Anthony Rodriguez. Julie passed the recipes on to them, and, they tell us, she still stops in to check on them when she’s in town.

Vesuvio no longer offers a thin-crust pie, but the standard version is right on target, and the cheesecake is just as wonderful as we remember.

Order food to go, to eat on-site, or for delivery next door to Eleven O Two.

We've redesigned our restaurant directory

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We added a restaurant directory to Lavaca and Friends early this year as the pandemic was beginning to threaten the survival of neighborhood restaurants. We wanted to do what we could to help out, and our initial effort was to identify every place that was actively doing business and find out how our neighbors could patronize them.

It was a big job. We contacted each restaurant by phone, which was made difficult by the reduced hours that most places were operating. But we put together a directory that identified the places that were open and told you how you could order from them and how you could get your order.

Over time, more and more places have opened for on-site service, and our directory has grown to include about fifty spots, ranging from high-end dinner spots to morning coffee bars.

As the list has grown, it has become more difficult to navigate, so we've completely redesigned it to make it completely scrollable and to create a dedicated page for each restaurant, a page that even includes a map.

We hope the new directory works for you. Let us know what you think.

©2020 by Lavaca and Friends | Web site by Loft 2203

300 Labor Street, San Antonio, Texas 78210