Eight retail shops 'pop up' downtown for the holiday season

Submitted by Rudy Arispe on December 9, 2013 - 11:21am

Eight new shops have popped up downtown along Houston Street just in time for the holiday shopping season. The OPEN Downtown Pop Up Shops will be open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Downtown Tuesdays, and noon to 9 p.m. Saturdays from Dec. 3 to 21.

Update: City officials announced that the stores will re-open for business on Tuesday, Jan. 7 and remain open every Tuesday and Saturday through Feb. 1. 

OPEN is an initiative of the City of San Antonio’s Center City Development Office in cooperation with Federal Realty, REATA and Service Lloyds Insurance Company to offer established business owners a no‐cost, short‐term lease for the 2013 holiday season.

“The pop up shop concept has gained popularity in recent years in other cities. Now we’re bringing this popular retail concept to Houston Street for the holidays,” said Lori Houston, director of Center City Development Office. “People who work downtown, as well as downtown residents, visitors, and tourists, will have an opportunity to support local entrepreneurs while they do their Christmas shopping.”

The goal of OPEN is to activate underutilized and vacant downtown properties by introducing new, dynamic  and temporary retail locations that create an environment that engages customers and authenticates downtown as a vibrant urban space for long‐term investment.

The participating shops include the following:

  • Joyarte Jewelry Couture – Hand-crafted art, 141 E. Houston St. (Dec. 17 and Dec. 21)
  • Las Ofrendas – Hand-crafted art, 311 E. Houston St. (Dec. 17 and Dec. 21)
  • Zubiate Projects – Furniture, artwork, sculptures, 231 E. Houston St. (Tuesdays and Saturdays)
  • San Antonio History LLC – Books about “Downtown San Antonio,” 140 E. Houston St. (Dec. 14 and Dec. 17)
  • St. Sarita – Fair trade folk art and textiles, 140 E. Houston St. (Dec. 10 and Dec. 14)
  • Vinously Speaking and Fresh Urban Flowers – CANVAS: A Pop UP wine gallery and art bar, 140 E. Houston St. (Tuesdays and Saturdays)
  • PAWSitively Sweet Bakery – dog treats and accessories, 140 E. Houston St. (Dec. 3 and Dec. 7)
  • Pinkberry Boutique – women’s clothing and accessories, 311 E. Houston St. (Dec. 7,  10 and 14)


“Our goal is the ‘Wow’ factor to get shoppers to come downtown to shop and show off these phenomenal spaces in the heart of our beloved downtown San Antonio,” said Priscilla Martinez Gamer, owner and principle designer of Joyarte Jewelry Couture.  The pop up shops were also created to encourage innovation, benefit local entrepreneurs, keep downtown an active and attractive destination, and connect art, retail and real estate by transforming underutilized properties, among others.

OPEN was made possible through the generosity and support of San Antonio’s property owners, businesses and community organizations.

The Center City Development Office has planned several special activities to encourage downtown visitors and dwellers to visit the pop up shops, including offering pictures with Santa and free gift-wrapping, and entertainment by strolling carolers spreading holiday cheer. For dates, times and locations for the special activities, visit the Facebook page “OPEN: Dowtown Pop-Up Shops.

Also, free parking will be offered at city-operated lots, meters and garages on the popular Downtown Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. For more information, visit www.downtowntuesday.com or www.sanantonio.gov/ccdo.