SAN ANTONIO -- Could it be the decade of District 2? A significant part of the east side's revitalization is the rebirth of St. Paul Square.
Over the past month, two restaurants moved in, and more is on the way.
KENS 5 spoke with locals who have faith that this once-lively square will indeed bounce back.
"From the time when I was a young man to now, I think that it's growing immensely. So St. Paul Square is gonna be a big hit in the future. It's gonna be a big hit," said Ted Arciniega, who grew up in San Antonio.
Arciniega remembers St. Paul Square as a popular destination that was walking distance from downtown.
"We would definitely walk through here," he said. "[We'd] stop by and maybe have a couple of beers."
As attention leaned more towards Hemisfair, St. Paul Square began to lose its appeal.
Until this year.
"We really wanted to have a downtown presence, so we started looking around and we felt like the east side was the up-and-coming area out here," said Brian West, executive chef and owner of Smoke The Restaurant.
Smoke The Restaurant joined in. They offer a unique approach to your traditional barbecue, all made by San Antonians.
Around the corner, you'll find Tony G's Soul Food. They serve catfish, fried chicken, grits, and a delicious brunch menu.
"This area has always been well representative of what this city has to offer," said West of St. Paul Square's design. "San Antonio is a very unique city and has a unique style and look to it. And I think this area is really going to capitalize on that."
It's not just restaurants joining in at St. Paul Square, though. The University of Houston also built a culinary school campus diagonal from Tony G's. It serves as a pipeline for students to get jobs at local restaurants and hotels.
Councilman Alan Warrick says the east side will also welcome a first-of-its-kind apartment building across the street from St. Paul Square.
"With a great pool and all types of amenities. So, something very similar to what The Pearl has to offer, with The Crockett Street lofts, we'll have that right across the street," Warrick said. "Once we have a grocery store, I think that's when it really takes off.”
It's a San Antonio landmark that's coming back to life.
"The east side and the St. Paul area is gonna be the book end of downtown," West said. "It should be the last frontier for us to really develop."
Warrick also hopes to get a public-private partnership going to use the G.J. Sutton building to help revitalize the area. Governor Abbott vetoed the $132 million House Bill 1255, dedicated to major improvements to the old, vacant structure.
"Mayor Castro always said it's the decade of downtown," Warrick said. "I see so much growth and so much opportunity happening on this side of 281, I think it's really the decade of District 2."