by Sarah J.F. Braley | October 01, 2016
Why here?
With the shimmering River Walk as its centerpiece, San Antonio is always ready to welcome a celebration. Hotels both new and upgraded are drawing eager groups, and the convention center's expansion debuted earlier this year with spaces such as the Stars at Night Ballroom (pictured).

 Brigid just celebrated its one-year anniversary of serving contemporary American fare. Small plates include mushroom and goat cheese gnocchi, white lobster mac and cheese, and wild boar Bourgogne. (210) 263-7885

 Craft brews, wine and modern comfort food are on the menu at Hop and Vine. Think shrimp and grits, brisket sliders and pickled okra. (210) 878-4071
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Local Update

 January saw the debut of the $325 million expansion of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, which now offers 514,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space. The project added 270,000 square feet of new exhibit space, 85,000 square feet of column-free multipurpose space, a 54,000-square-foot ballroom, 70 meeting rooms, and a wraparound balcony with views of the city's downtown and the River Walk.

 The San Antonio Marriott River Walk now features Internet TV in all 512 guest rooms, which were renovated last year. Visitors can easily stream Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and Amazon content. The property offers 17,566 square feet of meeting space, the Cactus Flower restaurant serving Southwestern dishes, and an indoor/outdoor pool.

 The 146-room Hotel Emma opened last November in the Pearl District along the Museum Reach section of the River Walk. The new hotel once was a brew house and is named after Emma Koehler, wife of brewery founder Otto Koehler, who ran the brewery after he died and up until Prohibition. The property offers 6,160 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space. Three dining outlets are on-site: Supper, serving seasonal greenmarket fare; Sternewirth, the hotel's bar and club, featuring wines, craft beers and small plates; and Larder, a gourmet market with local goods, groceries, house-butchered meats and other provisions, plus prepared foods.