For many years, downtown Brownsville looked like a ghost town, particularly during evening hours. The only exception was an H-E-B supermarket on East Elizabeth Street. Here, shoppers from south of the border stopped by to buy goods before going across the Rio Grande into Matamoros.
After a group of concerned citizens began looking into how to revive the city’s oldest business district several years ago, the area started coming alive. New restaurants, bars, live concerts and other events came about for people to enjoy.
Market Square, the city’s oldest plaza, is now the place to be because of activities happening there all year. The area once functioned as bus terminal and later, as city hall. One of the events takes place the first Friday night of the month. On that night, people gather around the plaza to listen to live bands. Vendors also sell a variety of food and other merchandise items. You can also find them inside the new restaurants and bar and grills.
One of the latest opening is Las Ramblas. The owners of the cocktail bar had hopes of selling Spanish-styled tapas but, due to city restrictions, has not been able to sell food. Brothers and owners Fabian and Michael Limas have also opened a sort of piano-gallery bar next to las Ramblas. Here local artists have a chance to display their paintings, photographs and other forms of arts.
“Everything you see on these walls belong to them,” Fabian Limas said. “We let them show and whatever is sold here the money goes to them.”
On a recent night, the area was so popular that finding a parking spot was a task – something which has not happened in the downtown area after hours for quite a while.
So if anyone is trying to figure out what to do on a Friday, particularly the first of the month, downtown Brownsville is the place to go to.