Mr. Gilbert Garcia, former owner of Lerma's Nite Club
The historic Westside conjunto venue on Zarzamora, opened in the '40s and becoming El Sombrero Nite Club in 1951, was recently looking for new life as the city's Dangerous Premise Unit shut it down in July of 2010. However, thank the night club gods above, it was recently designated as a historic San Antonio landmark handled and kept in repair by the Esparanza Peace and Justice Center who are spearheading an ongoing campaign for grants from the state for renovation. Fortunately, Garcia was alive to see the classification of the club as a San Antonio Historic Landmark.
Unfortunately, Gilbert Garcia, the former owner of Lerma's, has passed away. Garcia, the owner since 1980, is held in particularly high esteem as the keeper of what has been considered by an uncountable number of San Antonians as the greatest conjunto venue in the world, "el corazon de Tejas." Garcia purchased the venue from previous owner and namesake Pablo Lerma's son, Hermando Lerma. The iconic interior of the club can be seen in the film Selena, as well as Girl in a Coma's 2007 video for "Clumsy Sky." Information regarding the nature of Garcia's passing is not available currently. But you can keep tabs on the venue and its renovation by visiting SaveLermas.org.