SAN ANTONIO — Vince Cantu’s bar, Moses Roses Hideout, sits on historic land.
“The warriors who fought right here,” Cantu said, pointing at the wall. “The wall was right there, the battlefield is right where we are standing, it’s incredible.”
That’s why he purchased it over a decade ago. It’s just a couple hundred feet from the Alamo, but the city and state want him to make room for a $150 million Alamo Museum project.
“And I never wanted to be in their way. I’ve just been waiting for them to have an honest negotiation with me so I can sell the property to them,” Cantu said.
Most of city council felt there’s been plenty of time to reach an agreement, so they voted to use eminent domain, which is the right of a government to seize property for public use with payment. In this case, it's a little over $3 million.
“Is it fair for me? Is it fair for the free market? No, it’s not fair. Will they sit down with me prior to the first letter and prior to the first offer?” Cantu’s posed.
That has yet to be determined. Cantu says giving up this property is losing generational wealth.
“I’m not going to be able to put Moses Roses somewhere on the outskirts of San Antonio. This is it, this is where it’s going to die,” Cantu said. “My dreams of passing on property on to my children has died. That’s not going to happen either.”
Many bar goers told Spectrum News 1 that Moses Roses was always one big party.
It’s one of the very few properties off of the River Walk that is both Latino and locally owned. It’s what Cantu grew up with. His grandmother owned a downtown restaurant for over 60 years.
“Barbacoa and Big Red every Sunday, they had the best enchiladas, the best everything,” Cantu said.
Cantu hopes this modern day battle of the Alamo results in him receiving $8 million for this property.
“If you spend $100,000 a year, you can spend that easily. It’s easy to spend a hundred, easy, on your mortgage,” Cantu said.
If a deal isn’t met, it could take months, even years.
“Like I said, that’s the hard part. The money is nothing, but the fact that they don’t respect you enough to talk to you,” Cantu said. “If you look at their past record, it’s hard to be an optimist, but I choose to be.”