Lavaca and Friends Thursday Happy Hour
The details
Thursday 5 - 7PM

Most folks show up around 5:30.

La Frite Belgian Bistro
728 S. Alamo

The sign on the door may say "Closed", but the door will be unlocked. La Frite doesn't open for dinner until 6PM, hence the sign. Just come in and around to the bar.


This started as a get-together for Lavaca neighbors, but now it's expanded to include regular attendees from King William, Downtown and elsewhere in the city. We also get folks who are in town visiting friends or attending business events. Everyone is warmly welcomed.

Select wines and beers are available for $3 to $4.

(A note from Jane and Jim: As a courtesy, we suggest that if you order appetizers, you do so by 6:30 or 6:45, before the restaurant gets busy).

Neighborhood resources

Here are some web sites you may find helpful:

Lavaca Neighborhood Association (LNA) 

Subscribe to LNA Newsletter

King William Association

SA Housing Authority

SA Chamber of Commerce

Southtown Chamber of Commerce

Southtown Lions Club

Scott's Historic Home Improvement Contractors List

SAHA Victoria Commons Master Plan

King William Cultural Arts District

SA District 1

The Cannoli Fund

"Do you know?"

Bob Carabin

Terry & Gerry Schaefer

The Bowers

Brian Rountree & Hugh Donagher

Johanna Sawalha

Paula Haley

Lloyd & Elsa Mathews

Jim Feuerstein

Janyce Sisson

Joan Carabin

Syeira Budd

Stephen Warner

Dwight & Gail Mulcahy

Barb Machado

Michelle Stress

Rebecca Kary

José & Tiffany Cruz

Jane Gennarelli
Lily & Roland Lopez

Adam Michalski

Mike Moran

Jimmy Perkins

Bennie & Sue Blansett

Shane Broussard

S.T. Shimi

Miranda Fermin

Lyle Rosdahl

Karen Evans

Richard & Lynda Ramirez

Sheila Black

Jeff & Corrie McPherson

<<First Name>>,

There's a lot to do in the coming week in our part of town... an "Evening Under the Stars" art party, a special event at Lucy's Doggy Day Care, an outdoor Conjunto concert... among lots of other great events. Check them all out below. And try to join us on Thursday at our Lavaca & Friends Happy Hour get-together at La Frite (see details in the left sidebar).

Here's what's going on in Downtown and Southtown between Thursday, October 11th and Wednesday, October 17th:

The Schaefer's invite you to their Third Annual 'Evening Under the Stars' Art Party, which will feature the work of local artists. See the spectacular work of  some of San Antonio's finest artists and enjoy the company of neighbors and friends.

There will be live music by Josh Klaus, refreshments, and some amazing art! Click here for more information.

When:  Friday, October 12 (7 - 11pm)
Where:  The Schaefer's home, 211 Barrera

Every now and then we get a special offer just for our Lavaca & Friends newsletter readers. Lucy's Doggy Day Care and Spa is hosting a happy hour for the grownups and a FREE day of play for all Lavaca & Friends pups! Bring your dog for a day of fun in Lucy's premiere doggy day care facility. Then join Lucy's for wine and refreshments when you pick your pup up following the 'day of play'!

Drop off your pup(s) as you head in to work and they will enjoy:

  • A 10,000 sq ft outdoor play area for the big kids, including a swimming pool, synthetic grass, play equipment, tunnels, play chutes, tires and much more!
  • A 1,000 sq ft outdoor play area for the little pups
  • Separate indoor play areas for large and small dogs
  • Web cams so you can watch your pup having fun!
Note: The health and safety of your dog is very important to Lucy's. Therefore, they require proof of certain vaccinations. Read about the vaccination requirements and access the daycare and vaccination form here

Reservations are required for the doggy play day by this Friday, October 12th. Please call Lucy's at (210) 495-3647 to reserve your spot.

When:  Tuesday, October 16 (pup drop off anytime after 7am; Happy Hour is 5:30 - 7pm)
Where:  Lucy's Doggy Day Care and Spa, 937 S Laredo St

The Firebugs

"The Firebugs by Max Frisch is an absurdist black comedy written in the 1950s as an allegory for the rise of fascism during and after WWII. It is centered around Gottlieb Biedermann, a German businessman who discovers that the two men who have entered his home disguised as salesmen are the arsonists who have already burned down much of the town..." (read more). 

When:  October 12 - 28 (7:30 Fridays and Saturdays, 2:30 Sundays)
Where:  Sterling Houston Theatre at Jump-Start, 1400 S Alamo in the Blue Star Arts complex

Tardeada: "Conjunto Heritage Taller (CHT) celebrates its 10th Anniversary promoting and preserving traditional Tejano Conjunto music with an afternoon and evening of fun, music and dancing for the whole family..." (read more and see a list of performers). If you attended the Lavaca National Night Out Block Party, then you've already heard the talented CHT students -- Puro Corazon. Here's an opportunity to see them again (along with several other Conjunto performers), and to support the Conjunto Heritage Taller.

Food and drinks will be available. Call (210) 212-8560 for tickets ($10 in advance, $12 at the door, children under 12 free).

When:  Saturday, October 13 (5:30 - 11pm)
Where:  La Villita's Maverick Plaza, 408 Villita

Gemini Ink's Blackout Night

Gemini Ink says "We had so much fun in July, we've decided to bring back this great event. We'll have mounds of newspapers and bunches of black markers. All you'll have to do is pick an old clipping, and create a new poem..." (read more).


Lavaca resident and writer Lyle Rosdahl will be 'guiding and inspiring' participants through the process.

When:  Wednesday, October 17 (7 - 8:30pm)
Where:  Gemini Ink, 513 S Presa

Esperanza Spalding Concert

"The young bassist / vocalist / composer was one of the biggest breakout stars of 2011 -- not just in jazz, but in all genres of music. Her receipt of the 2011 GRAMMY® for Best New Artist was unprecedented -- the first time a jazz musician had won the award..." (read more).

Esperanza Spalding will perform one show only at the Lila Cockrell Theater on Saturday. Tickets are $25 - $50 and can be purchased here.

When:  Saturday, October 13 (8:30pm)
Where:  Lila Cockrell Theater, 200 E Market

"Bring the family downtown for the 9th annual Chalk It Up!, a free community event hosted by Artpace San Antonio. Join thousands of fellow art lovers as 20 of San Antonio's premier visual artists turn our city sidewalks into works of art... The whole family can practice their skills on a Public Mural and express their creativity in the Freestyle section or at one of several Kidzone Creation Stations..." (read more).

When:  Saturday, October 13 (10am - 4pm)
Where: Houston Street, Downtown

H.M.S. Pinafore

"The students of the UTSA Lyric Theatre and Orchestra perform in the classic Gilbert & Sullivan operetta, H.M.S. Pinafore. The operetta's underlying theme of love between different classes was the fourth collaboration between Gilbert & Sullivan and one of the most popular from the duo..." (read more). Tickets are $15 general admission, $10 for students, military or seniors.

When:  Friday, October 12 (7:30pm) and Sunday, October 14 (3pm)
Where:  UTSA Buena VISTA Theatre, 501 W Durango

In addition to the Tardeada Conjunto Concert described earlier, there are a few other outdoor performances in the coming days (unless noted, these shows are free):


Oktoberfest at Beethoven

Enjoy German food, beer, music and festivities at the Beethoven Maennerchor Oktoberfest celebration this Friday and Saturday. Click here for a schedule of performances.

When:  Friday, October 12 and Saturday, October 13 (5pm - midnight)
Where:  Beethoven Maennerchor, 422 Pereida

Here are some upcoming live performances at local bars and restaurants:

Vergence Project with Featured Artist Phil Marshall: "We make amazing music by bringing the artist & the audience together..." (read more about the Vergence Project here and about the performance here)

When:  Saturday, October 13 (7pm)
Where:  Empire Theatre, 226 N St Mary's
Lang Lang: "Superstar pianist Lang Lang returns to San Antonio for a spectacular solo piano recital (without orchestra)... The image of his hands will be projected over the piano during the concert, so you'll see his dazzling technique from every seat in the Majestic Theatre. Heralded as the 'hottest artist on the classical music planet' by the NY Times, Lang Lang has played sold out recitals and concerts in every major city in the world..." (read more).

When: Tuesday, October 16th (7:30pm)
Where:  Majestic Theatre, 224 E Houston


Fall at The Alamo

"Fall at the Alamo is an interactive living history event that brings area reenactors and living historians together on the grounds of the Alamo for a delightful educational experience. Visitors have the opportunity to see history come to life through demonstrations and one-on-one interaction with participants. This event, which highlights the era of the Republic of Texas, is free."

When:  Saturday, October 13 (9am - 5pm)
Where:  The Alamo, 300 Alamo Plaza

Here are some free movies you might enjoy: 

Cine Mundo: At Main Plaza (115 N Main), Thursday, October 11 (at dusk), showing Mission Impossible II.

Friends of Bonham Free Film: At the Bonham Academy (925 S St Mary's), Friday, October 12 (7pm) showing Fantastic Mr. Fox (bring chairs or blankets).

Cinema Soledad: At the Central Library (600 Soledad), Tuesday, October 16 (6:30pm), showing You Were Never Lovelier.

Friendly Outdoor Movie on the Slab Cinema Screen: At The Friendly Spot (943 S Alamo St), Wednesday, October 17 (7pm), showing Harold and Maude.

Here are a few other events that may be of interest. Many of these aren't in the immediate area, are events I've announced before, or are on-going events.

Échale Latino Music at Pearl

International Piano Competition Kick-off  and 25 Solo Piano Recitals at Trinity

PARTY at SAMA (San Antonio Museum of Art)

Second Annual San Antonio Cellar Classic at Pearl

Cavalcade of the Stars at the Henry B Gonzalez Convention Center

Travelin' On: American Hymns & Spirituals at the San Antonio Museum of Art

Greater Tuna at The Playhouse

The Marvelous Wonderettes at the Cameo Theatre

Boogie Monster Mash: A Monster, Musical, MelodramaThe Rocky Horror Show, and Mamma Mia, That'sa Murder at the Woodlawn Theatre

The Kid Who Ran for President at the Magik Theatre

Act Fast!: On Camera Acting Workshop at The Rose Theatre Company

Dinner and Ghost Tour at the Menger

13th Floor Haunted House at 1203 E Commerce

Our Town at San Antonio College

Open Sesame! A Bollywood Pantomime at the Overtime Theater

Movies & Micheladas Film: Visions of Aztlán at the McNay

Archaeology Day at Mission San José

Jazz and Flamenco at Carmens de la Calle

Do you know Rudy?

Rodolfo Lopez

Rudy is a "homegrown San Antonian" -- born and raised here. He's lived in various areas in and around the city, and eventually settled in Lavaca fourteen years ago.

Rudy joined the Air Force when he finished school and served for four years. After his service he had a few jobs -- in sales and working for the SA Police Department in the Radio Shop -- before he began his career in civil service. His last civil service position was as a Procurement Analyst at Kelly Air Force base, and he retired from there in 1990. 

It wasn't until he retired, however, that he focused on his true passion -- music.  He had never played an instrument and decided that it was time to learn. He took lessons from Toby Torres at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center and learned to play the bajo sexto. Texas Folklife Resources gave him a grant to further study bajo sexto and he became a resident artist for the Texas Commission of the Arts.  During that residency, he started a Conjunto program at the Teatro de Artes de Juan Seguin.

In 2002, Rudy and a few other local musicians formed the Conjunto Heritage Taller (CHT) here in Lavaca. Located on S. Presa Street, the organization's mission is to perpetuate Conjunto music... to teach it at a very affordable price. It is a 501( c ) 3 organization and provides lessons to students who range in age from 7 to 70.

Rudy describes Conjunto music as "European music with chilipitin flavor" -- that is, 'spiced-up' European music. It's more than concert music.. it's dancing music. He loves to teach his craft as well as educate people about it, and explains that when Europeans came to Texas, they brought their accordions. After long days of physical labor, they'd bring out their accordions to relax. Locals would join them, pulling out their guitars to jam with the European accordionists. The combination was magical, and that was the start of Conjunto music. It's since become very popular and it is very much the signature sound of this part of Texas.

This year, CHT is celebrating its 10th anniversary and hosting Tardeada (which means "late afternoon event") this Saturday at La Villita's Maverick Plaza (see description above). The performance will showcase CHT students and some of its Conjunto music legends, and raise funds so it can keep student fees affordable. Rudy is disappointed that the Annual International Accordion Festival (an October event in La Villita) was canceled this year. He hopes that the Tardeada concert can help fill the void, and looks forward to the return of the Festival in 2013.

Rudy and his wife Vera were married in 1965. They built their home on Camargo Street fourteen years ago and have been living in Lavaca since. They share their home with Ting and Frida -- their four-legged family members. They have two daughters and three grandchildren. Their older daughter lives with her husband here in San Antonio. Their younger daughter lives with her husband and three children in Dallas.

Rudy is a 'micro-rancher' and describes himself as an 'outdoors man'. He has property out of town that's affectionately referred to as his 'sand-box' because that's where he goes to play. There's a pond on the property, and ponies, and Rudy's been known to bring inner-city children out there to fish and ride the ponies.

Rudy enjoys the Lavaca & Friends Happy Hour at La Frite. Say hello the next time you see him there, and head on over to Tardeada this Saturday to support the Conjunto Heritage Taller and experience the best Conjunto music in Texas!

That's all the news I have for this week. I hope you can make it to La Frite on Thursday!

-- Jane

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