Author: Julysa Sosa

La Botanica Closes Its Doors at N. St. Mary’s Location

At the beginning of La Botanica, we told ourselves, “If La B can make it to five years, I know we’ll be okay.” And in a bittersweet twist of fate, we find ourselves here at five years and 3 months with all the blood, sweat, tears, and joy poured into creating an inclusive safer space in SATX. We have reached the end of our building lease and have been denied a new contract. This means that La Botanica’s doors will permanently close at the N. St. Mary’s location on October 20, 2020. 

As if this year hasn’t given us all enough loss and grief, here we are delivering news that will likely shock and sadden our community. 

We are not alone. Hundreds of small business owners and even higher percentages of BIPOC, womxn and queer business have been heavily impacted most recently by the global pandemic. It would be easy to say that it was all due to Covid-19, but the reality is, it’s the lack of access, resources, and equity that have led us and many others down this path. The odds have always been stacked against entrepreneurs like us, and they always will be until there is true equity. 

We created La B to build community, foster creativity, and challenge the status quo. We are constantly hearing stories of how La Botanica has helped weave friendships, love, families, art, activism, and countless other bridges in communities both locally and beyond these city limits. From the beginning of this venture, we have fought every single step of the way to reclaim and demand space as a queer Latinx/Tejanx womxn and we are proud that La Botanica will go down in San Anto and Tejanx history for the impact it has made.

Some of you might be reading this with a heavy heart, and we see you. As we’ve had to break the news to our team, we have all grieved this loss and will continue to mourn. However, we want to remind every single person who has ever passed through La B, that the essence and spirit of what we created there every day & night was not because of a physical building; WE were the magic. We, the people, and community gave this building life night after night. And so, we are now pushed forward into a new and unfamiliar future. Remember that La Botanica doesn’t die when the doors close, we carry that in our hearts and mind every single day. So we challenge you: create micro La Botanica spaces for the people in your life who need community the most. Receive all people with empathy and compassion. Advocate and defend those who are marginalized and underserved. Reclaim space and shine unapologetically so that others may see your light and be inspired to do the same. And most importantly, do it all with love and understanding that we are all just humans on this earth in search of our own joy. That’s how you keep La Botanica alive. 

Many of you will have questions about what’s next. And to be honest, we are not quite sure yet. What we do know is we are keeping strong faith in the journey the ancestors are guiding us on and that every time we touch the ground, we are reminded by mother earth that we exist. We don’t want to close off the possibility of La B 2.0 reopening in the future so we will keep our eyes and hearts open.  

Please email us your stories, pics & videos to, visit with us while you still can, and buy merch! 

Con mucho mucho amor,

Rebel & Andrea

Featured image by Mari Hernandez

We Are Taking A Breather

Saludos, everyone!

From the very beginning, La Botanica has followed, carried out, and has remained in compliance with the constantly changing rules and regulations surrounding the COVID-19 response in Texas. However,  we are at another pivotal moment where we feel the safest course of action for our team and community at this moment is to close our doors for the time being.

We loved seeing all of your beautiful faces over the last couple of weeks, but now we must all do our part to ensure that we contain the spread of this virus so we can safely gather in-person again in the future. 

While we navigate the temporary closure of La B, we continue to encourage you to support is these various ways:

Sana Sana Vibes, 

Reb + La B team

La Botanica Chef Rebel Mariposa Featured on San Antonio Current

San Antonio Chef Rebel Mariposa Shares Her Recipe for Tepache, a Refreshing Pineapple Cooler

Posted By Nina Rangel on Fri, Jun 5, 2020 at 10:27 am

When it comes to summertime fruit, let’s agree that pineapple is king. Sweet, juicy and tropical, it’s perfect for all kinds of sun-drenched snacking — whether in a smoothie, a fruit salad, a cocktail or … fermented?

Yep, you read that right. Fermented. In which case, it would be tepache, a mildly alcoholic beverage made from the peel and the rind of pineapples and sweetened either with piloncillo — a dark, unrefined sugar widely used in Mexico — or brown sugar.

Traditionally seasoned with powdered cinnamon and served cold, tepache is allowed to mellow and ferment in a dark, cool place for several days. The result is a slightly carbonated drink with a tiny bit of alcohol, awesome diuretic and probiotic properties and plenty of vitamin C and antioxidants.

Tepache recently appeared on our radar when we asked chef Rebel Mariposa, owner of vegan haven La Botanica on the St. Mary’s strip, what she and her partner had been sipping while quarantined. She told us she’d been taking advantage of local, seasonal produce.

“[My girlfriend Amanda and I] had a lot of produce the other day, so I made us some apple and carrot juice,” Mariposa said. “I made tepache and we set up date nights and sip on shots of mezcal or tequila with freshly squeezed grapefruit juice.” 

While cool tepache served straight up is one of Mexico’s most loved street drinks, the drink’s bright and tropical earthiness tastes just as amazing when mixed with similarly earthy spirits such as mezcal or gin.

Mariposa shared her tepache recipe, which made its menu debut circa 2015 in a cocktail called La Morena. Made with St. Germain elderflower liqueur, Hendrick’s Gin, citrus, tepache and basil leaves, La Morena is a refreshing and subtly sweet way to use tepache as a summertime libation.

When strained and stored in a sealed container, this tepache can be kept  refrigerated for up to two weeks. Just remember to shake well before serving. Mariposa recommends drinking a small glass every day for optimal probiotic action.


Skin from one pineapple
3-5 cloves
1 cone of piloncillo
1 cup of cinnamon sticks
1 orange (optional) 


Add all the ingredients to a glass jar and fill to the rim with water.

Cover the jar with breathable cloth and let it sit for three days in a dark corner of your kitchen.

After three days, skim any foam off the top, strain and drink. Provecho!

We Are Opening Slowly And Cautiously

We will be opening our doors for take out & patio seating every Saturday and Sunday 4-8 pm. Please read the guidelines below as we will be strictly enforcing these measures to be in compliance and provide a safe environment for both our staff and guests.


  • You must enter through the patio with a mask on
  • Wait to be seated
  • Ordering will be done at your table
  • Mask must be worn when not seated at your table
  • Seating will only be available outside
  • We will only seat parties of 6 or less
  • Total duration at the restaurant may not exceed two hours
  • All guidelines must be followed
  • We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone

Lastly, we know the chances of you seeing a comadre, buddy, fellow activist, etc. when at La B are likely and the desire to catch up will be high. We ask that folks respect each other’s space and level of comfort. Ask for consent and keep a safe distance.

We will also continue to offer to-go orders for curbside pickup here or Uber Eats delivery here.

Rebel Mariposa featured in San Antonio Magazine: La Botanica Chef Cooks to Connect

“I cook because of memories and connectivity with people. I love to eat as well as to feed other people. To me, gathering around the table is a magical experience.

The ingredient I can’t get enough of is sea salt.

The most underappreciated vegetable is hearts of palm.

My favorite dish on my menu right now is……read article here

Photo by Arlene Mejorado

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San Antonio, Texas