A Pizzeria Owner’s Promise To San Antonio’s Eastside

Can a pizza shop help build a better life for his community and his kids?

“Everything I had to get, I had to grind for.”

That’s what Mike Brown told the H. E. Butt Foundation in the summer of 2020. Since 2011, the local restaurant has become an anchor in the community, celebrating its 10-year anniversary in the middle of the pandemic. In fact, Tank’s became an ad hoc neighborhood distribution center for a while in 2020, receiving non-perishable donations and delivering them to neighbors in need.

It has also become an important conversation spot for immersion tours that help people of San Antonio learn more about opportunities on the Eastside. (In fact, these immersion tours are one of the event types that we still offer to help connect neighbors throughout the city across zip codes.)

Charles Foltz, who partners with Brown on the tours, says good conversation helps break down myths and assumptions. “The common stereotype is you’re either a victim [or] a villain,” says Foltz. “That’s the false narrative. You have to be willing to sit in a room, have a conversation, and stick it out with a posture of humility.”

Read Dacrie Brooks’ full article “Someone Like Mike” in Echoes magazine, or watch the video by Ocotillo Films below.

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