Mixing eco-friendliness and elegance may seem like a contradictory goal for a bar. However, The Long Bar manages to succeed (mostly) at combining being upscale with being environmentally conscious. As a certified green business, The Long Bar uses an array of energy-saving equipment and light bulbs, relies on post-consumer marketing materials, and mixes refreshing organic concoctions at the bar.
The setup is one of the more stylish I’ve seen in San Antonio. It’s suspiciously clean, as if no gluttons (such as myself) have ever touched the bar, the floor, or even the bathroom. Perhaps that’s because the clientele, like the bar, is upscale and fashion-forward, observant of a strict dress code. Or it could be, in part, due to the non-smoking interior (puffers must hit the patio).
Part of the Long Bar’s charm is the enthusiasm of the workers; everyone, from the bar backs to the general manager, describes the patrons and atmosphere as “awesome.” Though that may be the company line, somehow I believed they actually mean it. The bar has only been open since February but has already earned a faithful following. The VIP section is booked two to three weeks in advance.
Theme nights rule at Long Bar, which can be fun. When I went, it was a masquerade party for the manager’s birthday, meaning the entire staff was masked and dodging balloons. In addition to theme parties, they also have weekly fashion shows and live music.
Most importantly, the majority of the drinks — described as “organic cocktail`s`… with fresh ingredients” — were good.
I thought The Antioxidant, considered the LB’s “official drink” by one of the bar staff, was going to be ironic (an alcoholic drink that is good for you?). But bartender Christine assured me it was fresh and organic: VeeV Açaí Spirit, Organic Agave Nectar, and muddled blueberries and strawberries. It was excellent — not unlike a liberated smoothie.
My companion, another seasoned glutton, had an Isle and Sunset, swearing it was one of the best drinks she’d ever had. She loved it; adored it; took pictures of it with her camera to show her friends. It was beautiful to see. But the drink that followed provoked an equally striking but opposite reaction. It was called a Mint Apple but was overwhelmed by the mint. What other flavors struggled to remain didn’t blend well.
I sampled two other drinks, a fantastic watermelon-and-whiskey concoction that I drained in five minutes and a “Polished Martini,” a mixture of vodka, apple juice, honey, and lemon. The drinks were affordable, considering they were organic and freshly made, priced between $6.50 and $9.50, though there was some waiting involved for the ones that required fresh fruit juices. It’s worth it, just be prepared. Also, the crowds start arriving around midnight, so try to get there early.
The Long Bar
18402 Hwy 281 N Suite 128
VIBE Upscale bar with a down-to-earth staff and a fashionable clientele
BEST USE Organic cocktails after work, late-night theme parties
HAPPY HOUR 4-9pm Tuesday-Sunday