52ºF

Downtown Tuesday celebrates 2-year anniversary

City leaders celebrate success of initiative to draw locals downtown

City of San Antonio leaders are celebrating the success of the Downtown Tuesday initiative.

In 2012, the city began offering free parking at city-owned lots on Tuesday evenings from 5 p.m. until 2 a.m. in order to draw locals to downtown businesses.

The initiative has helped turn one of the slowest business days of the week into one of the busiest.

"Without a doubt, we're definitely seeing an increase in numbers year after year on Tuesday nights," said Justin Solomon, with Esquire Tavern, a popular downtown bar. "It's without a doubt one of our busiest days of the week."

City leaders said last year there were more than 73,000 visitors for the events.

"I live downtown and I run into people all the time that come in from places on the west, northwest, north and south sides," said Carlos Contreras, assistant city manager

More than 70 downtown businesses take part in the initiative by offering food and drink specials and live music on Tuesday evenings.

"On Tuesday nights, we always do specialty cocktails and we have bands every Tuesday night," said Solomon.

Downtown Tuesday has been such a success that more businesses want a piece of the action. There's now a push underway by some business owners to expand it to include La Villita.

"We'd certainly like to be part of it because it extends to us as an art village," said Jack Knight, president of La Villita Tenants Association

The city is also launching a quarterly event on Downtown Tuesdays called "Be-Cause."

It takes place at Esquire Tavern from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. this Tuesday and includes food, drinks and live music for those who RSVP. The cost is $15 per person. Part of the proceeds will benefit United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County.

For a list of recent stories Eileen Gonzales has done, click here.

Click here to view more videos on KSAT.com.