Local real estate investor Michael Litofsky recently bought this Market Square building and has already fielded multiple inquiries from national restaurant chains with proposals for the location.It's from this article. Right now, there's next to no information; just that "the concepts include barbecue, Mexican and seafood restaurants."
This is nearly as horrible an idea as putting an Ikea in Rivercenter. Okay, it's actually worse. Thing is, Litofsky knows this:
“The appeal has a more historical, artistic, intrinsic value,” said the Lee High School graduate and president of the real estate firm Main Street Properties. Market Square “is part of the history and culture of San Antonio. There were several other properties that would have been a much better buy financially and made better sense economically.I would really like to not see our history and culture shat upon by Red Lobster. I'm not certain what, if anything, can be done to prevent this. Maybe it's time for City Council to break their own rules in a way that would actually benefit the city.
“Being a native, you have a much bigger appreciation and it means a lot more to you.”
It's not as though there aren't options for tourists to eat at chain restaurants in the heart of San Antonio anyway. That's what the Riverwalk is for. And I'm counted among the people who think it's a damn shame we have chain restaurants there.
I don't hold out much hope from the powers that be, however. Castro has shown, time and again, his burning desire to make SA indistinguishable from other big cities. This would probably suit him just fine.
I wish I had a good solution here. All I can think of is e-mailing Mr. Litofsky and begging him to look for local restaurants to go into the space. Maybe local restauranteurs can be persuaded to step up and ask for space. Expanding food choices at Market Square is a great idea, just not with freaking chain restaurants. I don't even want to see Taco Cabana there, and y'all know my love of TC's.