Bella on the River, the inconspicuous River Walk restaurant near one of the river floodgates, is moving to Houston Street in late October. Specifically, Bella will be taking over the Houston Street Bistro location at 204 E. Houston St., between the Starbucks and the Majestic Theatre entrance.
On Wednesday, the restaurant made the announcement on Facebook.
Currently, Bella on the River occupies a tiny river-level restaurant space that’s the backend of a row of single-story retail buildings that make up the 100 block of East Commerce Street. Developer Keller Henderson plans to build a 17-story apartment tower on those properties — between the Esquire Tavern and the old Witte building — with restaurant space facing Commerce Street and the River Walk.
In 2017, Henderson told the Express-News that rents would be priced at $4 a square foot, which would make them the most expensive apartments in San Antonio. It’s unclear when construction would begin. In June, the project, known as the Floodgate, gained conceptual approval from the Historic and Design Review Commission, but it would need to receive a final nod from the board in order to begin construction.
For Bella, which opened in 2011, the move means a more prominent space on Houston Street, where business is great during lunchtime and on nights when there’s a show at the Majestic. However, on weeknights, Houston Street, and much of downtown, resembles a ghost town.
It’s unclear if Houston Street Bistro is moving to another location or closing altogether.
In a message from the Bella on the River Facebook account, an unidentified respondent said Bella would remain open until early October. Owner David Snyder could not be reached for comment.
Photos by Ben Olivo | San Antonio Heron