Support Local Journalism, Join the SA Current Press Club.

Dude, Where's My Swatter? Getting the job done at Barfly's 

click to enlarge nightlife1-1.jpg

It's not so much that I won't be going back to Barfly's any time soon...but the place certainly baffles me. To start, it's nestled in the same shopping center as Chongco Thai, an emergency vet clinic, a tattoo parlor and who knows what else. Barfly's is the third incarnation of the location, which most recently housed Dixie's Country Bar, and while I might not be aching to return, I'm sure it serves its purpose...if that purpose is cheap beer and big ass TVs.

I suckered a friend into joining me on a recent weeknight, and from the minute we hit the parking lot, she was dying to leave. We did arrive during happy hour, where half pitchers of domestics start at $4 and a full pitcher only tipped the scales at $6.75. The draft choices were pretty succinct with Bud Light, Miller Light and Budweiser. The closest thing you'd get to craft was the Guinness on draft, which is certainly appreciated if only because they're essential to Irish Car Bombs, which 21-year-old Jessica would have been all about.

We ordered a half pitcher (about 32 ounces) and sat somewhat uncomfortably betwixt at least a dozen or so older gents. Not knockin' men of a certain age, by any means, but hip and happenin' this bar was not. This was likely part of the design of Barfly's, or its proximity to the airport, or maybe Raffles, but we, along with the bartender brought the median age range down into a new age bracket all together.

click to enlarge A bar is a bar is a bar, - JESSICA ELIZARRARAS
  • Jessica Elizarraras
  • A bar is a bar is a bar,

The bar itself isn't entirely divey, but certain wafting odors of unknown origin would point otherwise. I blame the carpet, which has no place in a bar. There's plenty of seating along the counter, and a smattering of bar tables are neatly arranged throughout the space. Giant housefly silhouettes are sprinkled along the walls...because, get it, Barfly's? Perhaps the male clientele was drawn to the flat screens that also littered the joint, or maybe it was the handful of bar games (darts, shuffle board, et al). The jukebox was eventually turned off in favor of the first World Series game, but for a buck or two you could get your pick of country, pop and rock staples.

There's supposedly a sign for pizza, but try at your own risk. A snack table, complete with popcorn machine, takes up the back corner of the bar so I guess you have options once Chongco closes for the evening, but I turned my nose up at the kernels.

We made our way (or really, we escaped that foul smell) to the patio by following signage. After crossing the bar and exiting through the joint's storage area (where had I been a more ridiculous person, I could have made away with a giant jar or cherries), we landed on Barfly's rather kickass patio. Large wooden spools and stools take up a chunk of the area that faces an outdoor bar and two more flat screens, perfect for game watching. Patio game du jour, giant Jenga, is available on a table to the right of the entrance, and there are plenty of kitty litter-filled buckets and ashtrays for the smokers to dispose of butts in.

The occasional smoker or two did trickle out into the patio, and more joined as the game kicked into gear. Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass," came on the speakers at one point, and one bar-goer asked us whether she was vocalizing about her love of X, as in ecstasy. Perhaps we looked particularly attune with pop anthems, or maybe we just happened to be outdoors when this patron needed to have this query answered? Who knows?

There are upsides to Barfly's—a bar dog named Steve made a cameo and entertained itself with some rawhide, as the spot filled with more regulars. Our bartender's shift ended and she was kind enough to find us and close out our teensy bill (seriously, can't remember the last time I dropped less than $10 anywhere, bar or restaurant).

My companion offered a round of Jell-O shots (at $1 a piece, we could have done serious damage had this been several years ago), available in cherry and Fireball flavors.

Maybe we dropped into Barfly's on an off night? While Barfly's presents itself as an efficient dive with cheap beer, a line of Texas-based cocktails and shooters and yes, expertly made gelatin-based shots, I can't say I'll be heading back. And another thing...since when do 50-something year-old gents take Jell-O shots?

Support Local Journalism.
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the San Antonio Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 20, 2021

View more issues


Join SA Current Newsletters

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2021 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation