SAN MARCOS – San Marcos is preparing to welcome a new addition to its nightlife scene as new bar, Wildfire, is set to open its doors next weekend. Wildfire will offer a complete range of bar services and will occupy the same building that Stonewall Warehouse once did, at 141 E Hopkins Street.
Stonewall Warehouse, a beloved LGBTQ-friendly bar, abruptly closed its doors on New Year’s Day this year. The announcement of Stonewall closing came as a surprise to both employees and customers alike. Stonewall, one of the first gay bars in San Marcos, operated for eight years and was very popular amongst the LGBTQ community.
The reasons for closing Stonewall were purely financial, and owner Jamie Frallicks said the business had been failing for years. Still, it came as devastating news to many in the LGBTQ community who considered Stonewall home. Jill Williams, a frequent customer at Stonewall, was surprised to hear the news of its closing.
“I guess I just didn’t see it coming, I don’t think anybody did. Every time you walked in Stonewall the place seemed full of life. I know a lot of the employees are pretty upset about the way everything went down. Hopefully whatever replaces it will live up to everything Stonewall did in some way or another.”
The space that Stonewall occupied was soon after purchased by Jovan Marin, Henry Hogenson, and Miles Altgelt, while Frallicks stayed on as a partner. Marin, Hogenson, and Altgelt are owners of another popular San Marcos bar, Axis. Axis opened for business in 2019 and has been operating successfully ever since.
The new Wildfire bar will be a nightclub-style bar that will have a full-service bar, nightclub lighting, and bottle service sections. Although the bar is not specifically aimed at the LGBTQ community, the owners have said they will maintain an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere for everyone.
The new owners have been working hard to renovate the space and are excited to bring something new and exciting to the San Marcos nightlife scene. Wildfire manager, Juan Garcia, has said that inspiration for the new bar was pulled from popular nightclubs in Austin, in hopes that students and locals wouldn’t have to make the trip to Austin to experience a nightclub atmosphere.
“When we proposed the idea for this back in August, we came up with the plan to have a nightclub vibe, like they have in Austin. I don’t know if you’ve heard of big names like Clive or Mayfair, those are the nightclubs we looked into,” said Garcia. “We wanted to bring something along the lines of that to San Marcos, but with San Marcos Prices.”
Wildfire isn’t the only bar hoping to find success on The Square, Aquarium opened for business on The Square in August 2022 and is planning to open a rooftop bar in the same building next weekend. Aquarium, located at 126 S Guadalupe Street, hasn’t housed a bar since 2019. The location used to be home to Rooftop on The Square, but a shooting in November 2019 caused the bar to shut down.
Aquarium has been a popular spot since its opening, and Aquarium bartender Maddie Zarzour is excited about the opportunity to visit new spots.
“I’ve had a lot of fun working at Aquarium, and I think people are just happy to be able to visit somewhere new. I know a lot of people who are super excited about the opening of our new rooftop bar. I wasn’t around when Rooftop on The Square was open, but I’ve heard from so many people who loved it. I’m sure the excitement is the same for Wildfire. People who come out every weekend are just ready to be able to go somewhere new.”
Wildfire plans to open for business on Friday, April 21st, and is hoping to make a positive impact on the San Marcos community.
UPDATE- Wildfire has officially opened for business and enjoyed a successful first weekend. Below are some pictures of the new bar.