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Legendary Saluté turns 25 and begins to say goodbye with one last Flaco show

Photo: Enrique Lopetegui, License: N/A

Enrique Lopetegui

"Mari Chingas" (Marisela Barrera), Flaco Jiménez, and Saluté's last days.

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Mari Chingas is pissed. So are fans of Saluté International Bar, the venue where the late great Steve Jordan played his last gigs, and the place where local conjunto — and not-so-conjunto — bands found an intimate, cozy place to gig in at the heart of the North St. Mary's strip. On Friday, Saluté celebrates its 25th anniversary with a show by Flaco Jiménez and Max Baca. It will also be a chance for those fans to start saying goodbye to the place.

"I wanna challenge San Antonio," said Mari Chingas, the character created by local actress Marisela Barrera, who will emcee the night's first hour with an open mic reserved for those who want to share their Saluté stories. "Every regular, every person that's ever walked in Saluté, come back. Now's the time to thank [Salute's owner] Azeneth [Domínguez] for giving us so many memories." The building where Saluté is located was recently bought by Casey Lange, Limelight's owner, who has plans to turn the place into "possibly" a restaurant.

"It's been an important meeting place and a place that fostered local musicians of all different styles of music, not just Chicano conjuntos," said Conjunto Aztlan's Juan Tejeda, who met his wife at Saluté and who, along with Domínguez, convinced Steve Jordan (who had been playing at Ooh-La-La ) to begin gigging at Saluté. "It hurts [to see Saluté go], no doubt, and even though there's always going to be other venues to take its place, another part of conjunto history is gone." •

Flaco Jiménez & Max Baca feat. Cuento Jam hosted by Mari Chingas

9:30pm (Cuento Jam), 10:30pm (music) Fri, June 15
Saluté International Bar
2801 N St. Mary's

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