MEXICAN CANTINA TO BE BUILT AT THE ALAMOPosted: August 15, 2010
SAN ANTONIO, TX – A city panel cleared the way for construction of a Mexican cantina at The Alamo.
The San Antonio Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously to deny landmark status to the land immediately adjacent to The Alamo. The panel said that the empty field isn’t distinctive enough to be considered a landmark. And even though it is technically on the property of The Alamo Memorial, the commission has granted Mexican restaurant owner, Felipe Gomez the right to build his Cantina Mexicana at the Alamo.
All but two Texans lost their lives at the hands of the Mexican Army after a 13-day siege ending on March 6, 1836. But later, Texans got revenge in the Mexican-American War 1846-48.
The decision drew praise from the 36-year-old Mayor of San Antonio, Julian Castro, who called the cantina project a key test of Americans’ commitment to tolerance and a wonderful way to unite Americans and Mexicans. The planning Commission held an opening board meeting last week, angry residents waved daguerreotypes and sang “Remember the Alamo” (in English and Spanish).
“This is hallowed ground,” said Rick Torres, a Texas resident whose great–great-great grandparents fought for The Mexican Army but whose great-great grandparents crossed the Rio Grande and opened a Taco Stand in Brownsville. “We must honor those that gave their lives for the Texas Republic. There cannot be anything Mexican at The Alamo, even though it was originally a Mexican Mission San Antonio de Valero, the Alamo.”
Torres, though confused, was correct about the origin of The Alamo. It original served as home to missionaries and their Indian converts for seventy years. Construction began on the present site in 1724. In 1793, Spanish officials secularized San Antonio’s five missions and distributed their lands to remaining Indian residents. These men and women continued to farm the fields, once the mission’s but now their own, and participated in the growing community of San Antonio.
Thirty-seven percent of Texans are of Hispanic origin. Mexican-Americans in Texas are divided about building The Cantina. “I love taking my children there to see where the Big Battle where the Texans fought so bravely, but I also love a good chimichanga,” said Juanita Jones of Waco.
The Obama Administration has come out in favor of the Alamo cantina. Robert Gibbs said, ” we want to promote tolerance everywhere, every day. We love the idea of the cantina and have already approve d a Nobu restaurant at The Pearl Harbor memorial. We are the world.”
Gomez, the owner of the Cantina Mexicana, said that they planned to honor the Texans that died at The Alamo. “We have put a Davy Crockett burrito on the menu and we have created a special Alamo Nachos that will be served with some fine Texas chili. Americans and Mexicans can come together and drink Margaritas at our “Mission Happy Hour” every Friday from 4 to 7.”