My Summer Vacation: A CVS on the Riverwalk

In 1993 Eckerd opened a new drug store at 211 Loyosa San Antonio, with an entrance on the Riverwalk, this location is now arguable “One of the best known CVS locations in Texas”. With the CVS acquisition of Eckerd in Texas (and a few other places), the store changed names and continues to operate as a bit of an oddity. Let’s start off with the history of the building. Built sometime in the mid 1800s, likely after the Alamo, but possibly during the final days of Texas’ independence, anyway you see it this is an old structure! The building originally served as an ice house, where ice which was shipped in during the winter from frozen lakes and ponds in the Northern U.S. would be stored in the cavernous structure. The ice house, would have a storefront to purchase ice, and eventually other items which were good cold like refrigerated foods, and beer. This would of course give birth to the modern idea of an “Ice House” as a bar, and the actual ice house concept would be very successfully developed by the Southland Corporation into modern convenience stores, like 7-Eleven.

Beyond the history of the building, we have what it just a generally interesting CVS location. When this store was built by Eckerd it was not intended as a standard pharmacy location, but was in fact setup to be somewhat of a “tourist destination” at the time most shops on the river were independent stores (except for the newer mall portion which opened in the 80s). This actually still hold true today, with two CVS and a Walgreens being the only real chain shopping choices on the river. As far as I can tell from day one this store was never intended to have a pharmacy, and has very little floor space dedicated to medicine with less than half being used for HBA. The building had been vacant for around 60 years when Eckerd moved in, and the setup of the floor space somewhat explains why.


  1. When I visited in 2006 it was branded as “CVS/riverwalk”, though with CVS switching to a heart instead of a slash they might’ve dumped the designation.

  2. Very cool! Not too often you see just a regular CVS these days. In fact, that’s why they used to have the “/pharmacy” designation… CVS by itself stands for “Consumer Value Store,” if I’m not mistaken. Kinda dumb for them to have a regular hours sign with the pharmacy simply shown as closed every day, though.