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Valentino's, 2 more restaurants to open in 2022

Above, Valentino's, a beloved Pizza joint that closed years ago, is set to reopen under new management in 2022. Valentino's is located at 110 N. LBJ Dr. Daily Record photo by Lance Winter

Valentino's, 2 more restaurants to open in 2022

Sunday, December 19, 2021

There’s been idle chatter around the downtown Square about its return. Social media has been set abuzz about its revival. It’s true — Valentino’s is back, well almost.

“We’ve gotten our construction permits from the city,” said an excited co-owner, Cody Taylor. “We’re estimating an 8-to-10-week construction timeline if all things go as planned. So, ideally we are looking at a first quarter opening in 2022.”

Taylor said they are actively trying to reconnect with the once popular eatery's past employees and guests to get feedback on what they loved about the place, including food and culture, as well as old photos that can be used throughout the space to honor the previous restaurant.

“We will be serving New York and Sicilian style pizzas and offering somewhere around six beers on tap, could be more,” Taylor said. “Honestly, we are thrilled to even have the opportunity to reopen a concept that was loved so much by the community.”

Taylor is familiar with honoring “legacy” restaurants of the past.

“My last restaurant, Café Josie, had a 22-year run and was near and dear to that community, so I have some familiarity with honoring a legacy business like Valentino’s,” he said. “We want to bring it back paying respect to what it was, and the memories guests shared there, and bring it forward with some fresh updates to the space and the menu. Hopefully it finds that same spot in locals’ hearts as it did in its heyday.”


LaniKai Lounge & Tiki Room — located at 700 N. LBJ Drive Suite 113 in San Marcos — is scheduled to open in February.

LaniKai Lounge will be a destination bar, offering San Marcos its first glimpse of an authentic tiki room and tiki culture, according to owner Gabriel Sims.

“From the outside, the unsuspecting space at the San Marcos Center Shopping Plaza looks like a typical bar. Once you enter the space you will be immersed by tiki fanfare and tropical decor,” Sims said. “Our goal is to create a microcosmic paradise escape where patrons can sip on delicious rum cocktails served in ceramic tiki mugs garnished with fresh fruits and umbrellas. LaniKai Lounge will also offer small bites with Hawaiian and Asian flavors.”

Hours: Monday-Sunday 4 p.m.-2 a.m.


Above, Blind Salamander — located a 301 LBJ St. — is set to open in 2022 with a unique atmosphere near the Square. Daily Record photo by Lance Winter

If you’ve been curious about The Blind Salamander, wonder no more. The new kid on the block, located downtown near the university, has a tentative opening date for the third week in January.

The almost 3,500 square foot restaurant at 301 N. LBJ Dr. includes a first-floor sidewalk patio, and a second-floor patio bar.

“The food will be typical cantina food,” said Allen Shy of Shy Investments. “Original tacos, fajita’s, nachos etc. It will also be a margarita cantina with a large selection of specialty and signature Ritas and all of your favorites.”

The building is approximately 18,000 square feet with three apartments, one office space, and 3,800 square feet of retail space — and of course, The Blind Salamander.

“The unique atmosphere of The Blind Salamander will be like nothing else in all of San Marcos,” said Shy.

The unique name is a nod to the Blind Salamander, an endangered species that resides in the San Marcos River. “It’s something that all Southwest Texas/Texas State students learn about. I wanted a brand that would represent San Marcos,” Shy added.

San Marcos Record

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