Let's face it: In our quest to cover just about every bar in San Antonio, I've been to too many bars that haven't made for the best experiences. Sure, I try to find the silver lining and let readers decide whether they'll visit a spot, but sometimes bars win me over from the get-go. This is one of those times.
I visited 4th Quarter when Los Spurs took on cramp-prone LeSuck and the Cleveland Cavaliers this past Wednesday. Located off Wurzbach and Gardendale, the former home of Glo nightclub had a major makeover when switching concepts. What used to be a nondescript edifice complete with dark corners and bright strobe lights is now home to one of the most, well, sporty sport bars out there, with a matching red-and-blue food truck (more on this in a minute).
For starters, the bar is cavernous. Even on a Spurs night as Timmy and co. took on the Cavs, there was plenty of room for bar-goers to get their drink on. The space, formerly a grindzone, has turned into quite the sport's fans dream while being inviting to all levels of fandom. The bar is plastered with screens, of all sizes, with two main areas drawing most of the room's attention. The Jumbotron-esque display at the top of the bar is a nice touch, but the biggest draw is the projection screen that anchors the right side of the bar.
In essence, 4th Quarter could be labeled as a sports bar arcade, which features small nooks alongside wide-open areas. The back portion of the bar holds darts, foosball and an electronic punching bag, and plush, velvety lounge couches. Three tall bar tables hold giant checkers, Connect 4 and two sets of Jenga (those that need the thrill of bigger, heavier wooden block towers need not worry, 4th Quarter also has a few sets of giant Jenga laying around). Make your way past the red pool tables, and you'll find an electronic hoops game; climb the stairs to one of the lofts and discover a free-play air hockey table and more of the comfy couches, along with big glossy spools that double as tables. The upstairs definitely still retains that nightclub feel with its dark corners and couches, but the former DJ booth now plays host to weekly free poker nights with games sets at 8 and 10 p.m. Even if you somehow can't get into game watching, you can putter around with the lone golf tee in the right-hand corner of the bar, fire up the Nintendo or, you know, drink.
It just so happened to be Wednesday's Ladies Night, which meant half off martinis, $3 Jameson and $1.50 Tecate or Modelo. There's even a small selection of local craft brews to drink, including Ranger Creek's Milk Stout, Alamo Golden Ale and Real Ale Fireman's 4 (clearly a starter set to entice palates new to the scene), along with a Kentucky stout, a Wasatch porter and an Old Rasputin to name a few. The daily happy hour, which runs until 9 p.m., includes $2.50 wells and domestics, $4 domestic draft pitchers, $3 select shots and $3.99 Long Island mini pitchers. My bar-going partner-in-crime and I chose to imbibe a peach iteration of the mini pitcher (when in Rome...), and made our way through the bar.
The crowd was a mild one, and yes, this was a bit of a meat market, but that's to be expected at a sports bar. While some chose to partake in the evening's poker rounds, others ordered from the bar's food truck, which turned out to be the only quibble of the evening (even after a lively discussion with one of our fellow bar-goers about the types of bars we usually frequent and his aversion to bringing dogs into watering holes).
The wait on our grub was kind of ridiculous. The menu for the 4th Quarter food truck was limited to burgers, hot dogs and wings, but our order took just under an hour to arrive...and when it finally did, it was wrong. No harm, I've never been one to cast aside a buffalo chicken wing and these were decent.
Other than being slightly short-staffed on a game night, 4th Quarter definitely garners a return visit. Maybe next time I'll take advantage of the area's ethnic eateries (Golden Wok, Fujiya, Yellowfish, Pasha and Bombay Hall are all a stone's throw from 4th Quarter), and make it into this sport's fan haven before tip-off.