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New Bar Manager Named at Esquire Tavern, Sous Chef Welcomed to Downstairs 

click to enlarge REGINA PYNE
  • Regina Pyne
The Esquire Tavern has yet to find a new executive chef, but the popular downtown bar recently promoted Alexander Villarreal to bar manager while Emilio Baez was named as the new sous chef for Downstairs at the Esquire.

Villarreal, who began working with the historic watering hole four years ago, will manage the bar and deliver creative new cocktails like the “Las Fronteras No Existen,” and “Permanent Moonlight.”

“Alexander’s dedication to his professional growth has been exciting to witness and foster. We are thrilled with his shared commitment to excellence which has garnered us thousands of happy guests and many accolades over the years,” said beverage director Houston Eaves. “We look forward to seeing where he takes us next!”

On the culinary side, Baez brings more than 10 years of experience in the local dining scene. The chef, who earned his bachelor’s degree in culinary gastronomy from the Culinary Institute of America, most recently worked as the head butcher for a small meat market.

“We felt strongly that he would be a good fit for our Downstairs culinary program, and he proves us right every day,” stated Garry Baker, director of operations. “If he’s not in the kitchen, he’s poring over his library of cookbooks or at the farmer’s market, early in the morning, hand-selecting foods that he genuinely looks forward to sharing with our team and our guests. We’re very excited to be working with this guy. There’s great chemistry here.”

The Esquire Tavern is currently accepting applications for its executive chef position, following the departure of longtime chef Brooke Smith in 2019.
So many restaurants, so little time. Find out the latest San Antonio dining news with our Flavor Friday Newsletter.

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