Port Isabel Business Community Has Stories To Tell

City of Port Isabel Offers Facebook Live Program to Local Business

Now. More than ever.
To have your business featured on Facebook & YouTube email:

On April 24th, businesses across Texas were allowed to reopen with “Retail To Go” parameters. The challenge was, how to get the word out to potential shoppers who would not have access to the products behind those closed doors. A format came together whereby Facebook Live footage was broadcast to the facebook.com/portisabeltx audience. With somewhat over 20,000 followers, the idea was to give those followers a peek into stores they could not visit.

The first stop was Coastal Winds, on Highway 100, with Paul and Karen Wentzel. A tour of Coastal Winds featured tropical inspired accessories, many of them one of a kind. The live stream resulted in sales immediately following the wrap of the broadcast. As part of the City’s offer, the post was then advertised on Facebook and traffic pushed back to the website, phone number or facebook page of the participating business.

When “Retail To Go” morphed into businesses being open to foot traffic with restrictions and limitations, a Facebook Live was scheduled with Quik Stop. And again, the City paid for several days of advertisement on Facebook with the call to action button being linked to what the business decides would drive the most traffic to them. Viewers are also invited to ask questions in the comments.

Over the weeks, the format of the project has jelled and yet remained flexible enough to react to changes with proclamations or to the subject or business featured.

Facebook Live events are scheduled for 2 p.m. and can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes. Then the post is advertised and posted to IGTV (Instagram TV @portisabeltexas). Where applicable a story can be written about the event and submitted to media or used in an email blast or posted to websites.

Currently, audiences are extremely interested in content that helps them plan their trips and strengthens an existing connection and locals are interested in learning more about the community. It also keeps Port Isabel connected with Winter Texans back in their home states. Subjects have ranged from a tour of the Lighthouse, restaurants, retail, Isabel Y. Garcia Animal Shelter, COVID-19 testing registration, Highway 100 weekend traffic, and interviews with local media such as the Port Isabel South Padre Parade and the Coastal Current.

On Tuesday, June 30, a return visit to Coastal Winds will include a conversation about operating a small business over the last two months through changing Orders and Proclamations. Coastal Winds has also received new summer merchandise that will be featured.

Upcoming schedule includes a bit of a variety. On Tuesday [6/30] we will stop by Coastal Winds to catch up with them since our first Facebook Live over two months ago. Wednesday [7/1] will feature the kitchen at Marcello’s Ocean Grille & Spirits with Chef Bettina Tolin. And Thursday [7/2], in the spirit of ‘Throwback Thursday’, local legend Bobby Wells will take us on a tour of Port Isabel while we chat all about Port Isabel history. On Tuesday [7/7] we will interview Laura Caudillo at the Port Isabel Branch of the First National Bank of South Padre Island.

If your business is interested in participating please contact Valerie Bates at 956/867-7002 or info@portisabel-texas.com. There is no cost. This program is an investment by the City of Port Isabel into the continued success of the local business community. To view the videos visit:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/portisabeltx/videos

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPQqoYxSvOE&list=PLckVj39KB9RfaiVisWJFIF4gfIhg1vGDk

Since the program started nearly 73,000 minutes viewed or over 1,200 hours viewed has been generated. The City of Port Isabel is grateful for the stories that we can share with our audience as we work to find ways to support local business throughout these difficult times.

List of featured businesses:

Coastal Winds: 406 E. Queen Isabella Blvd., 956-943-1898

Art Sea Gallery & Goods: 423 Maxan St., 956-943-3200

Tropical Home Furnishings: 303 TX-100, 956-943-2503

SS Custom Design: 103 E. Maxan St., 956-249-6464

Quik Stop: 501 TX-100, 956-943-1159

Cat’s Meow Vintage Emporium: 105 E. Maxan St.

Pirates Landing Restaurant: 110 N. Garcia St., 956-943-3663

Welcome Aboard Gifts & Souvenirs: 114 N. Garcia St., 956-943-4890

Burger Shack: 413 E. Maxan St., 956-640-7440

Black Dragon Cruises: 501 E. Maxan St., 956-943-6283

El Faro Market: 415 E. Maxan St.

Evelyn Rubio: facebook.com/evelyn.rubio.334

Porky’s Pit BBQ: 318 E. Queen Isabella Blvd., 956-772-8143

Port Isabel South Padre Press: 406 S. Garcia St., 956-943-5545

Coastal Current Newspaper: 102 W. Swordfish, SPI, 956-761-9341

Featured informational videos:

Port Isabel EMS Director Charlie Wood

Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce President Betty Wells

Port Isabel Fire Marshal John Sandoval

Isabel Y Garcia Animal Shelter, Lexus Martinez

Historic Champion Building

Now. More than ever.
To have your business featured on Facebook & YouTube email:

Rolling In: Mobile COVID-19 Testing Coming to Port Isabel

PI Cares

Area residents concerned as to whether or not they’ve been exposed to the Corona Virus will have an opportunity to be tested this Sunday, when a Covid-19 mobile test site will be available in Port Isabel. From 9am-5pm on Sunday, May 24, a mobile Covid-19 test site will be situated at the PI Event and Cultural Center, located at 309 Railroad Street in Port Isabel, Texas. The test will be free of charge to Cameron County residents and is available by appointment only.

Appointments can be made either online at TXCOVIDTEST.org or via telephone by calling (512) 883 2400. Appointments cannot be made more than 24 hours in advance.

Those approved for a test are required to bring ID and arrive 5 minutes prior to their scheduled appointment time.

Symptoms for Covid-19 include fever or chills, cough or shortness of breath, sore throat, headaches, loss of taste or smell, fatigue, body aches or muscle and joint pain, or nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services (dshs.state.tx.us) website, there are 2 types of Covid-19 testing available. One is a serology test, which detects if a person has had Covid-19 in the past. The serology test screens for antibodies against SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. The serology method uses a blood sample for testing.
The second type is a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test, which indicates if a person presently has the virus and is actively infected. For this method, a nose or throat swab is taken.

After the test has been administered, the testing receipt will have instructions on how to get test results, which will be sent to either LabCorp or Qwest Diagnostics.

—by Pamela Cody

Thank you! #PortIsabelCares ~ Proclamation FAQs

From the City of Port Isabel, THANK YOU!

Thank you for Sheltering in Place and protecting your friends, family and neighbors. Thank you for consciously and courteously social distancing while out on essential tasks. Thank you for your support of our local businesses and restaurants. While it will continue to take patience and endurance, you play THE most important role in the health of our community and the City of Port Isabel is very grateful! 

We’re continuing to update our Restaurant and Local Business information to keep you informed of where you can get food, supplies and services. If you have information we need to add, update or correct, please let us know!


UPDATES and other information is regularly posted on our social media:
• Facebook: portisabeltx
• Twitter: portisabeltexas
• Instagram: portisabeltexas
• Facebook Group for Local Business: PortIsabelBusiness

City of Port Isabel

UPDATE: Port Isabel Mayor issues proclamation with NEW restrictions, effective 4/2 5p.

NEW RESTRICTIONS regarding accommodations, numbers of persons upon any public roadway or waterway, boat ramp usage, shopping cart protocol, age restriction for shoppers, restrictions regarding trips outside the home, drive-thru and take out restrictions. [https://bit.ly/345ZN55]


When does Proclamation 2020-4-2-1 go into effect? April 2, 2020 at 5 p.m and shall continue until April 8, 2020 11:59 pm, or until rescinded or modified.

Short term rentals: are prohibited from entering a new rental agreement. Some exceptions apply.

Transportation restrictions: no more than 2 people are allowed in private transportation on a roadway or waterway.

Fishing: is not prohibited, but anglers must keep restrictions regarding transportation, boat ramps and time of day into consideration.

Boat ramps: closed to the general public.

Shopping cart protocol: no more than two persons can use a single shopping cart.

Age restrictions in businesses selling groceries or staples: no persons under the age of 14 are allowed.

Essential travel restrictions: residents encouraged to minimize trips outside the home, restrict the trip to one person, persons with odd-numbered license plates should shop on odd-numbered days, even-numbered license plates on even-numbered days.

Public rights-of-way regulations: no person shall be upon public rights-of-way including waterways (includes the Port Isabel Side Channel), streets, sidewalk, alleys and parks, at any time. Full proclamation text: -No person shall be upon public rights-of-way, including waterways (added 4/2/2020) streets, sidewalks, alleys and parks at any time. The presence of any person who is not essential to the function of a public entity or business, or who is not seeking medical attention, upon any public right-of-way between the hours of 11:30 pm and 6:30 am shall be considered prima facie evidence of a violation of this order (added 4/2/2020). Exceptions include: walking and running between the hours of 6:30 am and 11:30 pm in compliance with social distancing rules (added 4/2/2020), personnel essential to the function of public entities or businesses, and persons traveling to obtain medical care, medication, food, staples of daily living or other essential services.

11:30 pm – 6:30 am: Being in a public right-of-way or waterway (includes the Port Isabel Side Channel) will be a violation of this order. Exceptions include walking or running in compliance to social distancing rules, personnel essential to the function of public entities or businesses, traveling to obtain medical care, medication, food, staples or other essential services.

Commercial business access: general public may only be upon its premises if they are seated in a vehicle. Some exceptions apply: laundromats, banks, hardware stores, medical providers, utilities, pharmacies, grocery stores, food service of takeout and delivery, exempted day cares, shipping/postal businesses, units of government, building work and landscaping.

Take-out restriction: no more than 10 people may congregate in take-out area, drive-thru and take-out must stay in their vehicles. Patrons on foot my stay 6 feet from each other. To minimize contact, payment is encouraged by telephone or electronic means and the order is placed on an open tailgate or vehicle trunk.

Previous restrictions effective March 20, 2020 6:00 am: remain in effect unless there is a conflict in which case this order shall supersede.


Spring Mixer at the Treasures of the Gulf Museum 3/12 5:30 p.m. You are Invited!

It's a SPRING MIXER  and you are invited! The Museums of Port Isabel and the Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce are co-hosting a mixer at the Treasures of the Gulf Museum. Refreshments • Door Prizes • Gift Shop Discounts! For more information call the Museums of Port Isabel (956-943-7602) or the Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce (956-943-2262).  LOCATION: Treasures of the Gulf Museum. 308 E. Queen Isabella Blvd. Port Isabel, Texas.
It’s a SPRING MIXER and you are invited! The Museums of Port Isabel and the Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce are co-hosting a mixer at the Treasures of the Gulf Museum.

Refreshments • Door Prizes • Gift Shop Discounts!

For more information call the Museums of Port Isabel (956-943-7602) or the Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce (956-943-2262).

LOCATION: Treasures of the Gulf Museum. 308 E. Queen Isabella Blvd. Port Isabel, Texas.

Queen Isabella Market Day at the Historic Lighthouse! [cancelled]

Queen Isabella Market Day


The Museums of Port Isabel and the City of Port Isabel invite you to enjoy a day filled with music, vendors, food, family fun on the grounds of the Historic Port Isabel Lighthouse! Queen Isabella Market Day is scheduled for Saturday, May 9th, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Special admission price to the Port Isabel Lighthouse and Port Isabel Historical Museum & Treasures of the Gulf Museum, $1.00 each site, all day, Saturday, May 9.

There is no admission charge to the event. Vendors selling collectibles, antiques, local art, jewelry and more will be lining the sidewalks around the lighthouse.

A tent with tables and chairs will offer the opportunity to sit down and relax while enjoying some tasty tamales, baked goods or other dishes local vendors and restaurants will be offering. Or just roll down the grassy hill of the lighthouse! Relax and let us entertain you during a family fun day in Port Isabel!

See vendor-application-pkg.


Queen Isabella Market Day dates from the 75th Anniversary of Port Isabel. Celebrated in 2003, the 75th Anniversary of Port Isabel included a street parade, open house at the Museums and the Lighthouse and the first ever Queen Isabella Market Day. The City of Port Isabel also minted a limited edition coin to commemorate the historic event. Queen Isabella Market Day continues as an outreach of the Museums of Port Isabel.


In 1492, Queen Isabella financed Christopher Columbus’ exploratory expedition to this part of the New World. Community leaders in the Laguna Madre area recognized the importance of this partnership and named not just one causeway in her honor in 1954, but again in 1974, when the second causeway was constructed it too was named in her honor. On July 4, 1954, the grand opening of the first causeway was graced by the Consulate of Spain who was among the dignitaries on hand to cut the ribbon. Queen Isabella is further honored at our annual Queen Isabella Market Day each April on the grounds of the historic Port Isabel Lighthouse.


Jeannie Flores, Museum Director