Overnight East Side bar shooting highlights need to shut down problematic establishment, residents say

Establishment has had 73 police service calls, 21 of which are shootings since June 18, according to SAPD.

SAN ANTONIO – Residents in an East Side neighborhood who live off Drexel and Hackberry say a single establishment is to blame for the recent shootings and crimes near their homes.

The neighbors say people go to the establishment near their homes between 2:30 a.m. and 3 a.m. after bars close. They say the crowd shows up at the building at the corner of their intersection to continue their outings.

“If you come 3 or 4 in the morning, you’ll see both sides of the street --you’ll see all in the back all in that parking lot over there just hanging out, drinking,” said Richard Deleon, a resident who lives on Drexel.

“It’s frustrating. It’s more frustrating. I can’t think any other emotion I can feel,” said Nick Emanus, another resident living off of Drexel.

At 3:30 a.m. Thursday, police were called to 100 block of Drexel for a shooting. Officers say two men were walking down the street when someone in a car opened fire on them.

One of the men, a 36-year-old, was hit in the legs. His injuries are non-life-threatening. Two homes and at least one vehicle were also hit by the gunfire.

Neighbors weighed in on what they witnessed at the time.

“It sounded like it was right there by my window. I mean it was loud,” Deleon said.

“It was between seven and eight gunshots that I heard. I immediately ran inside because I didn’t want to be out in the open,” Emanus said.

“There was a house whose front window was shot out. Is somebody in my family going to be shot by these random shootings?” said Anna Hardcastle, who also lives on Drexel.

Hardcastle said she’s caught a man walking from the problematic establishment to relieve himself in her yard.

“Went to the side of my house, squatted, did his business, then went to my garden hose to and cleaned himself off,” said Hardcastle.

Since June 18, 73 police service calls have been made at that location, 21 of which were for shootings. The other calls were for fighting and disturbances.

Neighbors say the building used to be a bar called Twin Sisters Cantina. They said it’s since changed into what they believe is an after-hours hangout spot.

Police say they are working with the bar to fix the problems they have seen in the last few months.

A spokesperson with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission said Twin Sisters Cantina hasn’t had a permit to sell alcohol for quite some time.

“Twin Sisters Cantina’s permit was cancelled in February 2020 due to their failing to maintain the required bonds for operation. There were previous administrative cases filed for Breach of the Peace, Failure to Report a breach,” said TABC Public Information Officer Chris Porter. “Without a permit, the business cannot legally sell alcohol on the premises, though businesses which choose to operate as BYOB do not require a TABC permit to do so.”

KSAT reached out to the property owner but hasn’t heard back yet.

About the Authors:

John Paul Barajas is a reporter at KSAT 12. Previously, he worked at KRGV 5 in the Rio Grande Valley. He has a degree from the University of Houston. In his free time, he likes to get a workout in, spend time on the water and check out good eats and drinks.