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The Esquire Tavern
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Taps: 8 / Bottles: 12
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
155 E Commerce St
phone: (210) 222-2521
(Place added by: elNopalero on 07-16-2012)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 2 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75 | $$$
The wife and I made The Esquire into our haven during a short trip to San Antonio to visit family. Amidst the cheesy-touristy-rowdy River Walk restaurants and bars, The Esquire stands out as classy and cool.
Great atmosphere, sort of hipster-meets-Texas, with wallpaper, filament light bulbs, stuffed turkeys... they even have a hipster bathroom attendant. Enough said.
The bar is bigger than the state of Rhode Island, and there are also booths right by it and a dining area with tables past the bar. From there, go on the patio or walk down to the river. Pretty neat.
11 taps, of which one is Modelo and ten are Texan craft brews, including Live Oak (three handles), Ranger Creek (2), Shiner (Blonde) and 512 and Independence (2 taps each).
Ranger Creek Oatmeal Pale Ale was nice and different, 512 IPA is da shit and Independence Convict Hill was an amazing strong oatmeal stout.
Basic food menu but nice stuff, even though we were a large group and some of the items came cold or overcooked. My bison burger with pimento cheese was delightful but grossly well-done (I ordered rare) and far from hot. The wife's grilled pimento-cheese sandwich was the clear winner.
Later on I went back to The Esquire two more times only for drinks and loved it. The cocktail program is stunning and reminded me of the the better cocktail clubs in NYC such as Death&Co.
Not a cheap place to booze up by any means, but a total must for the discerning drinker.
03-11-2013 04:37:53 |
More by DoubleSimcoe
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$
Longest (wooden) bar top in Texas? Sure, that would make this a novelty pick. No, they've taken an iconic but utter dive bar and turned it into a destination. Classy and slightly chaotic, this is your best bet on the riverwalk for local/Texas craft beer.
I visited here twice in one week mid-June. First time was a busy, bustling Thursday night and the waitstaff seemed disorganized and the place looked more hipster than local—or tourist. Take the good and the bad.
Second time was early in the week, again in the evening. Much more relaxed vibe. Got a chance to chat with the bartender. Got a seat at the bar, even. Locals and tourists comingled, with the hipster patron vibe turned down. (This isn’t San Francisco folks—or Austin!)
Physical space aside, there’s nothing about the “new” Esquire that’s remotely similar to the “old” one. And depending on your style, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Fun fact: apparently the old Esquire had 311 911 calls their last year—or one a day, with Sundays off!
Ask the bartenders, the staff, even the customers and it seems like a sea change. Even the bathroom attendant professed to having never set foot in the Esquire pre-renovation. While I appreciate the changes I feel like the edge/grit/character of the old Esquire hasn’t only been cleaned up but lost in some ways.
They’ve been open long enough to work out the opening-night glitches, yet in both my visits I found they suffered from some minor disorganization amidst outright chaos. I appreciated the irony of my party’s tab being discounted on my first visit since the kitchen mixed up an order, followed by my tap on the second visit being combined with another party’s due to another mix-up. Bar karma? Either way they sorted it out and it was fine.
Food was fantastic, beer selection is solid with the tap handles dominated by local, Texas brews ((512), Live Oak, Ranger Creek). Oddly enough while most beers are $5-$6 a pint the times I was there they had Ranger Creek’s OPA going for $7 a pint. Seeing as how I’ll see this elsewhere around town for $3 to $4 I thought it was a misprint. If beer isn’t your thing the Esquire also has an incredible mixed drinks program with all sorts of cool concoctions.
A class act all the way.
07-17-2012 18:15:51 |
More by elNopalero
The Esquire Tavern in San Antonio, TX
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