Author Archives: Ron Bechtol

Southtown’s New Flame: Battalion Lights Up a Historic Fire Station

In an interview for a previous article on the Lavaca neighborhood, resident Suzanne Martinez expressed a certain nostalgia for the time when the firehouse on South Alamo was operational: “The men were always there, playing basketball outside … they were [effectively] in charge of safety.” They watched over the kids, she indicated — and the

Taking Gin & Tonic to the Next Level

Gin freaks tend not to think of this bracing spirit in seasonal terms: just as you are perfectly justified in drinking rye in the summer, you can easily indulge your inner gin Jones in the winter. And yet … the method of delivery may be different: lighter rye cocktails in summer (say a Collins with

A Visit to Nick Spink’s Artisan Distillery & Drinks

When I arrive for our meeting, Nick Spink greets me with circular saw in hand — no, this is not a variation on the chainsaw theme. Spink is just in true-to-form, do-it-yourself mode making a portable bar for the private tasting room at his new enterprise, Artisan Distillery & Drinks — a “craft vodka lounge,”

Team Brigid: How Many Chefs Does It Take to…

No, we’re not talking lightbulbs here, but we are talking about harnessing the lightbulb-like creative moments of a quintet of talented chefs, all of whom now have a say in how the kitchen at Brigid/Francis Bogside (B/B) runs. The result could be chaotic, but, fortunately, a benign drill sergeant has emerged to fill the shoes

Hot ‘Hood: Lone Star

“I was looking for a place that was ‘cool’ and quiet and that still had some dust on it,” says chef Michael Sohocki of the location of Il Forno, his new pizza place between Nogalitos and South Flores. He had exploited “every square inch of space” at the Downtown location that houses his Restaurant Gwendolyn

Vegan Fare, Cocktails and Community at La Botánica

Recent random statistic: About six percent of the American public defines itself as vegan. Just guessing here, but that number is likely lower in San Antonio — which makes the local band of dedicated brethren and sistren small indeed. But the key word is not “small,” it’s “dedicated.” Unlike diet-du-jour types who briefly espouse, oh