I was in San Antonio a couple of weeks ago and as I was leaving town I decided to stop by and take one last picture of Lerma's. I was afraid that it would be torn down before I had a chance to come back to town, especially since it was now fenced off and looked like more than a bit forlorn as a result.  Lerma's was shut down a couple of years ago because the building had code violations. I believe if you scroll down in this blog you can see an exterior shot of Lerma's without the fence from when I was out there a year or so ago.

Lerma's is a legendary conjunto club in SA at which all of the conjunto greats have played at one time or another.  It is apparently the longest running conjunto joint in all of Texas. Santiago Jimenez Sr. played there for many years (If I recall correctly, 10 years) every weekend, which in the conjunto world means Friday, Saturday, and Sunday dances.  Tough schedule.  Henry Zimmerle also had a longstanding gig there. I was fortunate enough to see him play there over the years I've been traveling to San Anotnio, as well as many other conjuntos.  Many of the old timer musicians I know in SA played at Lerma's over the years, and just about everybody has gone there to dance at one time or another, if not regularly.

Anyway, it seems to be turning out that my last visit might not have been my last. There is a fundraiser to keep Lerma's aliveThe Esperanza Peace & Justice Center in San Antonio bought it and is looking to keep it alive. They just need to raise $700,000.  So now you know where to direct your year-end charitable contributions...

Of course, there are a lot of other places to hear great live conjunto in San Antonio every day of the week, even if Lerma's is currently closed.  When I was in town I had the chance to hear Los Dos Gilbertos, Flavio Longoria, and Ruben de la Cruz play in a single night at a VFW down by the Missions, just incredible.  Henry Zimmerle plays once a week at the Royal Palace Dance Hall, itself an institution.


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