Businesses call on customers to ‘come back’ with reopening part of St. Mary’s Strip

Even though city crews finished work last fall on the strip, businesses say customers still haven’t fully returned

SAN ANTONIO – George Rice said living near the St. Mary’s Strip has felt like a rollercoaster over the last three years.

“It goes up and down, up and down,” Rice said. “In the end, it’s worth it, you know, because now we’ve got a great street.”

More than three years after the city started construction on the St. Mary’s Strip, businesses Saturday night held a ribbon-cutting and block party to call customers to come back.

“We’re still here,” Randi Simpson, the co-owner of the Gallery Club, said. “Please come back down.”

The city started construction in March of 2021 to make the Strip more accessible. Construction delays led this project to last nearly two and a half years. City crews finished work in September of 2023, but Simpson said business hasn’t fully returned.

“It’s been down, I would say 40%,” Simpson said. “I knew that we were still struggling and that we had not regained the pre-construction foot traffic that we had before. But when I saw that, I was like, I’ve got to do something.”

Simpson got nearly two dozen businesses — including bars, restaurants, and shops on the strip — to throw a grand reopening party for Rock the Block. The city supported the event and District 1 Councilwoman Sukh Kaur spoke and celebrated the end of construction.

Neighbors like Alfonso Robalin, the president of the Tobin Hill Community Association, said the official reopening is a long time coming.

“It just feels, 100% different,” Robalin said. “We have great sidewalks, beautiful streets, great landscaping. This is home for me.”

To read more about the improvements made along the Strip, click here.

About the Authors

Avery Everett is a news reporter and multimedia journalist at KSAT 12 News. Avery is a Philadelphia native. If she’s not at the station, she’s either on a hiking or biking trail. A lover of charcuterie boards and chocolate chip cookies, Avery’s also looking forward to eating her way through San Antonio, one taco shop at a time!

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