30 San Antonio lounges, speakeasies and hidden bars — and where to find them
By San Antonio Current Staff
San Antonio's bar scene has always been fun, but the cocktail explosion of recent years have given it double shot of hip sophistication. These days, the city is awash in spots that boast swanky vibes, including some speakeasy-style bars that are intentionally kept on the downlow. How many of these have you explored?
The Speakeasy at Salvation Spirits 10091 US-290., Fredericksburg, (210) 605-2292, salvationspeakeasy.com.
“The Speakeasy,” as locals know it, is tucked away on a 10-acre orchard in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. The inviting space offers a variety of handcrafted gin and is the perfect setting for a date night or evening with the girlies after a day of winery tours. The Speakeasy is also the ideal venue for private events.
Photo courtesy of The Speakeasy at Salvation Spirits
Pastiche 1506 E. Houston St., (210) 439-1532, facebook.com/pastiche.sa.
Local bar bard Benjamin Krick has taken an East Side cottage and turned it into a hip haven for contemporary quaffers with an appreciation of the Belle Epoque past. And anyone with a feel for le fée verte will admire drinks dedicated to once-banned absinthe. Past special events have included an homage to the art of flamenco.
Photo via Instagram / pastiche_sa
Dash 1017 N. Flores St., gwendolyngroup.com
Celebrated San Antonio chef Michael Sohocki's first foray into the lounge scene will take shape in Dash, a new concept in the loft space at the 5 Points Local building.
Photo via Instagram / dashbarsatx
RD Hidden Door Speakeasy 8400 N. New Braunfels Ave., (210) 605-2292, mixed4u.com.
Texting a random phone number for a secret password to enter a modern-day speakeasy may seem a little theatrical — but what's wrong with that? The real journey starts when you enter the space located behind the Barn Door Restaurant in Alamo Heights. Dark lights, gilded details, candles, music from the 1920s and excellent cocktails await at this intimate, reservations-only spot where just 27 guests can imbibe at a time.
Photo via Instagram / atanotherangle
Cellar Mixology at Toro 1142 E. Commerce St., (210) 463-5386, cellarmixology.com.
With its secret-cellar vibe, brick walls, Edison lights and decorative wine barrels, CM is a strong contender for the city's most atmospheric dive distinction. Its informative, one-drink-per-page menu is also a winner. So, not to worry unduly if the exposition is a tad better than the execution when it comes to the cocktails themselves — there's always the bottle service for which reservations (for a $10 fee) are a good idea late night Thursday through Saturday.
Photo via Instagram / cellarmixology
Havana Bar 1015 Navarro St., (210) 222-2008, havanasanantonio.com.
The Havana is the hotel bar for those of us who wouldn't be caught dead in a hotel bar. Lit only by dim candlelight, it's dark, cool, filled with vintage furniture and feels a little bit illicit. The fact that it's largely undiscovered by tourists and something of a hidden gem among locals only heightens the speakeasy vibe.
Photo by minkmade via Instagram / havanasanantonio
Downstairs at the Esquire 155 E. Commerce St., (210) 222-2521, esquiretavern-sa.com/downstairs.
This intimate lounge dishes out small bites packed with flavor and top-of-the-line cocktails, which is to be expected — it's just below downtown's historic and lauded Esquire Tavern. Downstairs offers funky, swanky vibes and expertly crafted drinks on the River Walk level of the storied building, which is also said to host a guest of supernatural persuasion.
Photo via Instagram / downstairsatesquire
Jet-Setter 229 E. Houston St., #10, (210) 272-0457, jet-settersa.com.
Complementing the sophisticated tipples is a hearty dose of equally sophisticated Mid-Century Modern style. The cocktails and ambiance are equally astute, and the crew behind the stick is attentive and knowledgeable, making for an experience that has the potential to be as educational as it is delicious — should you choose to take advantage of their insight.
Photo via Instagram / jet_setter_sa
Green Lantern 20626 Stone Oak Parkway, #101, (210) 497-3722, facebook.com/thegreenlanternsa.
Sophisticated and speakeasy inspired, this is an establishment that takes cocktail culture seriously. The mixologists are exacting and knowledgeable, and their creations showcase an extensive spirits list, fresh ingredients and an array of house-made infusions. From classics such as daiquiris and French 75s to new creations, you're in good hands with the bartending superheroes at the Green Lantern.
Photo via Instagram / sugarybysuzette
Bar 1919 1420 S. Alamo St., (210) 227-1420, bar1919.com.
The basement speakeasy feel is spot on, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a more robust list of Scotch and bourbon pretty much anywhere, which is humorously highlighted by their snub of vodka — you'll only find a single brand.
Photo via Instagram / sacurrent