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Old Posted May 22, 2009, 5:24 PM
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sirkingwilliam sirkingwilliam is offline
Loving SA 365 days a year
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 3,715
Oh Boy... HDRC at it again, this time, over the top?

Note: All HDRC related news from now on will use the following picture/logo I created to link to a respective link.


Audry's Mexican Restaurant, once a regular meeting place for sportswriter Dan Cook and his mysterious acquaintance Benjamin P. Broadhind, could be razed if the owner has his way.

The city hopes to save the 60-year-old restaurant, but not because it's the home of The Dan Cook Special — a half-order of nachos followed by an enchilada plate. The Historic and Design Review Commission supported a finding of historic significance Wednesday as a step toward protecting the building at 601 Camden St.

Owner Tony Cantu wants to sell the site and two adjacent houses to a medical group, for development of a professional complex. They're discussing demolition of the restaurant and houses at 605 and 609 Camden.

The restaurant is in a two-story Queen Anne-style house, built around 1900, that's partly obscured by a concrete-block addition. The San Antonio Conservation Society supports preservation of the original structure.

A historic significance finding must be approved by the City Council.

Cantu's lawyer, Bebb Francis, said he believes Cantu should be allowed to raze the buildings because keeping them intact poses an economic hardship.

Cantu said he doesn't draw enough rent on the houses to offset taxes, operating costs and upkeep for the restaurant, which needs structural work and new carpeting and air conditioning.

“I've got two daughters who probably don't need to inherit these headaches,” said Cantu, 62.

The restaurant's former patrons, some whose photos adorn the walls, include music legends Ernest Tubb and Hank Williams. But the only one with a dish named after him is Cook, who would mention Audry's as the site of exchanges with Broadhind, his cagey, fictitious alter ego, in his Express-News columns.
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