Historic and Design Commission to decide on fate of Malt House

Iconic restaurant was destination for families, power brokers, for generations

SAN ANTONIO – West Side lawyer and activist Charlie Jones said the old the Malt House off Zarzamora was where many powerful lawmakers and legislators gathered for lunch for generations.

"Henry Cisneros, Gonzalez, former congressmen, they'd all come here at different times," Jones said.

Jones said the questions and conversations shared over fried chicken and crispy dogs, literally, shaped modern day San Antonio.

"How are we going to run the school district? Who's going to run for city council? How are we going to run the mayorship? All this sort of different things," Jones said. "You grew up in a situation where you were sitting at the stoop of the leadership in San Antonio."

Jones said he prefers to see local businesses and local people empowered and employed.

"I don't want to see another corporate entity on the block. (What) I want to see is more small businesses," he said.

Jones’ wife, Linda Jones, said her parents had their first date at the Malt House.

"I went to ask mom, 'Was I conceived in the parking lot?' And she said, ‘We're not going to talk about that,’” Linda Jones said.

A friend sharing lunch with the Joneses, former three-term state House Rep. Eddie De La Garza, said that although the Historic and Design Commission meets October 5 to decide on the fate of the old West Side restaurant, it's not over just yet for the Malt House.

"Remember, all politics is local," De La Garza said.