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Fronteras: 'The barrio and beyond' — Jaime’s Place bar becomes cornerstone of San Antonio’s historic West Side

San Antonio’s near West Side has blossomed in recent years with efforts aimed to conserve and highlight the historic area’s unique culture.

An oral history preservation project captures the unique music that is dubbed the West Side Sound; A brick-and-mortar Museo del Westside will highlight the people and stories that have grown out of this predominantly Mexican American neighborhood.

One relatively new venue taking advantage of this renewed interest is Jaime’s Place, located just past the Commerce Street bridge.

Owner Jaime Macias opened the bar in a converted two-story home in 2020 when the pandemic rampaged through the community. Time magazine highlighted Jaime’s Place as an example of how Latino businesses stayed afloat during an unprecedented time.

Jaime’s Place has quickly become a staple of the West Side. Macias’ philosophy of “con safos” — the Chicano saying of “with respect” — drives the atmosphere.

Residents from the barrio flock to the bar to dance to live music or share a drink with friends and family.

“Resilient, persevering, honor, respect and pride,” he said when describing the community. “Those words truly embody the West Side.”

Macias also spoke about the West Side’s “conscientious” development, a term he coined to encompass the changes the area has experienced.

“We just have to continue to… give the community, the existing community, an opportunity to take advantage of this newfound interest that's happening in the West Side.”

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Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter at @NormDog1