Music » Music Stories & Interviews

Bulldozers Raze Most of What Remained of San Antonio Punk Institution Taco Land

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COURTESY OF ROLAND FUENTES
  • Courtesy of Roland Fuentes
Work crews have demolished most of what still stood of Taco Land, the north-of-downtown dive that served as one of Texas' longest-surviving underground music venues.

Last fall, the city granted approval to developers to make structural changes to the property, including demolishing on-site structures. At the time, the property's owners planned to bring an outlet of Dallas-based restaurant chain Velvet Taco into the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood around The Pearl.

At press time, it's unclear whether that's still the plan or another prospective business has its sights on the property.

The original Taco Land hosted countless local bands in addition to touring acts ranging from the Jesus Lizard to Yo La Tengo. However, the rundown bar wasn't the draw so much as owner Ram Ayala, who served as its profane master of ceremonies.

The original Taco Land closed after Ayala and employee "Gypsy Doug" Morgan were slain in a 2005 robbery.

Local restaurateur Chris Erck later opened a bar at the location unrelated to the original Taco Land. That business closed last spring after the property owners sued Erck for failing to pay rent.

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