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The Rock ‘n’ Roll Dive Gets a Facelift 

The New, Old Mix

click to enlarge Note the new record wall behind the bar

Travis Buffkin

Note the new record wall behind the bar

As soon as it was announced that Danny Clift would be handing over the keys to the dive on the St. Mary's Strip there were rumblings from the rabble about the never-a-cover, always-a-band bar becoming a ritzy enclave for the new tide of yupsters that are progressively swarming our big town, little city. However, in conversation with the San Antonio Current, Clift was candid about his complete trust in the incoming owners' intentions, citing their efforts to keep everyone on staff, maintain the blue collar-friendly prices and perform several improvements to the aging archetype of a San Antonio rock 'n' roll club.

One step into The (New) Mix reveals that much has changed. The ceilings have been raised, Edison bulbs have been added around the exterior of the wall giving the room a quaint speakeasy feel, hardwood floors have been installed, the bathrooms are bathrooms and an impressive two-foot stage has been fashioned into the corner. These adjustments have turned the once cozy, deliciously dank environs into a bar altogether different, and they're not done yet. I can hear the haters hating.

What hasn't changed is the bar's staff and their commitment to those they serve. Happy hours run 4 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and feature $3.50 domestics, $3 PBR draft, $2.50 Lone Star tallboys, $3.50 wells, $4.50 you call its and $5 beer and a shot combos. In correspondence with their Album Happy Hour, sponsored by Southtown Vinyl, $2.50 wells will last as long as the record of the day is playing, from J Dilla to the Kinks to Fugazi — spun on a real turntable.

Plain and simple, The (Old) Mix "failed" because it was so gloriously divey. It could not continue to operate in the desired form and stay cheap in a cheap town. It now looks like any other decent small club in one of the places in the U.S. where bands and their fans are congregating on a Friday and Saturday to get pissy.

We'll make it a San Antonio bar. If you can't drink there because there's no vomit-stench in the air or the lighting shows your man-boobs through your Exhumed shirt, too bad, so sad. I'm drinking $2.50 El Perrito listening to Muswell Hillbillies with Roland. That being said, I'll miss the old Mix, too, but there ain't no going back.

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June 3, 2020

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