Best Bets for Budget Booze and Grub Near Campus

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click to enlarge Best Bets for Budget Booze and Grub Near Campus
Photo by Jaime Monzon
St. Mary's University

Brass Monkey
2702 N. St. Mary’s St., (210) 480-4722,

Closed Monday through Wednesday, Brass Monkey is a popular weekend destination known for its budget libations, buzzy patio and often-packed dance floor. Each night holds its own theme and ridiculously cheap drink special, $2 wells on “Thurzgayz,” $3 Dos Equis on ’80s Friday nights, $2 cherry vodka sours on new-wave Saturdays and $2 anything (seriously, anything) on H.I.P. ’90s Sundays — and there’s never a cover. Dress to match the night’s theme, or any other way you want — pretty much anything goes here.

The Pub
One Camino Santa Maria, (210) 436-1300,

Right at the heart of the St. Mary’s University campus is The Pub, a restaurant and bar serving pizzas, bites, beer and wine. After 25 years of being a dry campus, St. Mary’s re-opened the establishment that originally debuted in the 1970s. The Pub is perfect for on-campus residents. A short walk from the dorms, The Pub is a no-brainer for on-campus students as there’s no need to Uber to get there. This unique spot maintains a classic academic atmosphere that lends itself to game and trivia nights hosted several times each semester. Another benefit of a pub on campus: Group meetings don’t always have to be held in a stifled room at the library.

Time Out Sports Bar
719 N. General McMullen Drive, (210) 437-2656

If you’re a sports fan in the St. Mary’s area you’ve probably heard of Time Out. The patronage may be slightly older than the average student, but the drink specials are great and the bartenders are attentive and friendly. Time Out is a great place to watch a Spurs game, as the locals come out to support their team dressed in silver and black, blending the room together and creating bonds between all age groups. If you’re looking for a place to have a few drinks and watch sports, Time Out is not too far from campus and offers a casual atmosphere suitable for students.

El Colegio
112 College St., (210) 518-1000,

Occupying a former St. Mary’s School of Law library, El Colegio is a stylish bar located inside the Omni La Mansión del Rio. The décor is reminiscent of the Prohibition era, with delicate lighting and dark hardwood floors. Needless to say, El Colegio is pricier than most student chill spots, but the cocktails are carefully handcrafted, the spirits are Texas-based, and the ambiance is simultaneously sophisticated and relaxed. Offering happy hour 3-6 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, El Colegio makes for an intimate date night or a cozy hideaway when you need a break from the word-slurring drunks at the dive.

2417 N St Mary’s St., (210) 733-9573,

Joey’s is the kind of spot you go to kick back with a drink, pool stick in hand, enjoying the company of the crew and passing the time with some friendly competition. If you’re alone, mosey up to the bar to talk to one of the several friendly bartenders on staff. A perfect place to meet new friends, Joey’s tends to attract a fairly broad cross section of folks — including lots of regulars who depend on it for solid drink specials and tasty pizza. Fun fact: Joey’s is “the original birthplace of Blue Star Brewing Co.”

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