SAFD Responds to Fire at San Antonio’s Beloved Mexican Restaurant Jacala


Update, noon: Hours after the fire was reported, Jacala’s social media pages posted a Facebook Live showing firefighters still working at the scene. Cynthia Lambert, who runs the family restaurant with her sisters, sent a tearful message to customers.

“Our hearts are broken and I know your hearts are broken,” she said through tears. “God is here, I love you. I know you love us all and I’m so sorry, but it happened.”

The original story continues below:

A fire was reported at the Jacala Mexican restaurant in San Antonio early Thursday, March 17.

San Antonio Fire Department spokesman Woody Woodward told MySA the scene remains “very active.” Social media photos show the business, which started in 1949 and is known as the “oldest originally owned Mexican restaurant in San Antonio” on fire. As of 9:30 a.m., the SAFD fire investigator deemed the building a total loss, according to San Antonio Express-News.

Good morning all! We are sad to say that we probably won’t be opening today as the Mexican restaurant Jacala is on fire…

Posted by Sweet Baker on Thursday March 17th, 2022

Original owners Rudolph and Adelfa Quinones pitched what would become a San Antonio mainstay on Wilson. This is the second fire in the restaurant’s history. Jacala’s kitchen caught fire in 2016. When the family reopened two months later, a line of customers was waiting, according to MySA records.

The restaurant is located at 606 West Avenue. It recently won several Critics’ and Readers’ Choice awards for Best Tamales and Best Enchiladas. Jacala also claims to be the birthplace of the puffy taco.

This is a developing story, it will be updated as more information becomes available.

Jacala through the years


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