CONTACT: Lawson Picasso
SAN ANTONIO (February 26, 2021) — Yesterday, District 1 Councilman Roberto C. Treviño joined the celebration of the opening of one of San Antonio’s newest restaurants, Golden Wat Noodle House. The eatery, located at 111 Kings Court, today also unveiled recent improvements to its building to offer expanded outdoor dining space – part of the Eat on the Street pilot program. Councilman Treviño has worked with the City of San Antonio World Heritage Office (WHO) and Public Works (PW) since the fall of 2020 to launch this program with District 1 partner restaurants.
Late last summer, conversations began between local restaurant owners and the District 1 Office to explore ways to support the food and beverage industry due to the pandemic. The Eat on the Street initiative was born and will allow restaurants the opportunity to utilize City right of way, such as the street or sidewalk in front of their business, to provide socially distanced seating for dining customers. This outdoor option was developed to provide restaurants an option that supports them during a time when they have been heavily impacted by the economic effects of this pandemic.
“This initiative will help businesses offer a safe area for customers to visit, supporting their favorite local restaurants. The Food and Beverage community has been struggling to remain open since the pandemic began. Employees and owners alike are looking for assistance during this time. This innovative program is one we plan to expand city-wide, so other businesses can take advantage of additional outdoor seating opportunities, along with our great spring weather,” said Councilman Treviño.
In 2017, San Antonio was designated a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, making it only the second city in the United States to earn this designation and one of 36 cities world-wide. The designation officially recognizes the unique culinary heritage and traditions that exist in San Antonio. The World Heritage Office manages the designation and is in the process of seeking community feedback to define its UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy Action Plan for the next four years.
This outdoor dining expansion is currently a pilot program and intended to allow these independent and locally owned food and beverage businesses to expand their exterior dining space for a trial period of up to 180 days. Currently, only $5,000 in “seed funds” is available for each Council District. However, over time if the pilots prove successful and more funds become available, the program can be replicated on a case-by-case basis in additional areas.
"The City of San Antonio, as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, remains committed to the sustainability of our local food and beverage industry. This has been a team effort involving multiple City Departments, City Council, and the private sector working together to develop and implement this pilot program," said Colleen Swain, Director of the World Heritage Office. "It is envisioned that this initial pilot will assist with social distancing, while increasing the number of customers served and allowing dine in operations to become more economically viable."
Susan Sypesteyn, owner of Golden Wat Noodle House and NOLA Brunch & Beignets, shared the opportunities this program will have and said, “The patio street project is a Godsend! It will allow us to serve customers in a safe outdoor environment as well as fill seats and add potential revenue, where we wouldn't be able to at limited capacity.”
Chris Cullum, owner of Cullum’s Attagirl explained the value of this program saying, “By expanding our outdoor seating area, we’ll be able to safely invite a bigger number of our customers to join us... which really helps our business. It also gives devoted regulars and new patrons alike a way to enjoy the connectivity our little chicken joint is known for. We’re grateful to be doing business in a city that works to preserve the character of neighborhoods like ours.”