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All You Can Eat

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There goes the neighborhood bar ... again. But this time it's been saved from the wrecking ball or tourist kitsch. San Antonio developer Mitch Meyer, who recently announced plans to open Hippo's, a 3,600-square-foot grocery and deli in his La Cascada condos downtown, has purchased the beloved Eastside haunt Tucker's Kozy Korner, at East Houston and Cherry. Although the nostalgia-soaked jukebox and cigarette machine are gone, Meyer plans to restore the bar room to its former leather-stool and faux-wood-laminate glory. "The reason I bought that is because I love it, it's just such a part of our history," says Meyer, who attended Central Catholic High School, but didn't hang out at Tucker's in its heydey, when a who's who of black entertainers passed through the cozy neighborhood joint (Elvis Presley reportedly showed up, too). "It's a classic African-American bar," added Meyer.

The familiar signs are being refurbished, and Meyer plans to have Tucker's open for holiday parties well before the year is up, but he adds that Hippo's is taking a lot of his attention - three locations are now planned for SA, and the old kitchen at Tucker's will probably serve as a common catering kitchen for the stores. You can join Hippo's foodie email list at hipposgroceryanddeli.com. Stay tuned for more on Tucker's.

While they wait for Hippo's promised full-service grocery, downtown shoppers can explore the new Main Plaza Market, open at 126 Main Plaza, on the ground floor of the Morris Hotel and Apartment Building.

Culinary Institute of America affiliate the Center for the Foods of the Americas still has room in its upcoming evening session - designed specifically for working adults - which runs January 3-August 17, 2007, at the Pearl Brewery Campus. The deadline to apply is December 1; financial-aid applications are still open, too. For more info contact the admissions department at 222-1113 or visit Cfachef.org.

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