We opened Mariachi Bar in 1989 to create a space for music and celebration of Mexican culture and heritage. Every detail reflects our objective, from the hand-wrought ironwork and spectacular carved bar to the city’s best musicians and our amazing selection of tequilas, beers, margaritas and handcrafted cócteles.
The bar’s 19th-Century style originated in the creative mind of Jorge Cortez and was executed by numerous local artisans. Larry Peña did the ornate tile work, using handmade Mexican tiles based on antique tiles found in the McNay Art Museum and the Bexar County Courthouse. The grand oak bar was designed by artist Armando Sanchez and built by master carpenter, Emiliano Aparicio. Jesus Garza carved the beautiful doors and the bar’s magnificent Mexican coat of arms — a fierce eagle standing on a prickly pear cactus grasping a rattlesnake in his beak and talons. The eagle symbolizes patriarch Pedro Cortez watching over Mi Tierra.
MUSIC AT MARIACHI BAR
Traditional Mexican music reminded Pedro Cortez of his home in Guadalajara and he particularly enjoyed the music of Market Square’s strolling musicians. In a nod to Pedro’s love of mariachi music, we’ve ensured that Mariachi Bar is a festive place to celebrate the tradition of music that has filled historic Market Square for decades.
Pedro Cortez purchases La Jamaica No. 5, a three-table café in the heart of El Mercado for $150.
Pedro buys the property next to Mi Tierra and adds a bakery.
Pedro and Cruz Cortez buy the entire block of El Mercado.
Pedro and Cruz open a second restaurant, La Carreta Mexican Steakhouse.
The Cortez family opens La Margarita Restaurant and Oyster Bar, offering "Sizzling Fajitas" and seafood.
The family is deeply saddened by Pedro's untimely death.
Mi Tierra Café's newest addition, Mariachi Bar, opens in the space next to them.
La Carreta is remodeled and rebranded to Restaurante Pico de Gallo.
La Familia Cortez opens its last concept, Viva Villa Taquería, under the management of Chef Cariño Cortez, Pedro's granddaughter.
La Familia Cortez marks its 75th anniversary.