The Esquire Tavern

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very good

11 Ratings
Ratings: 11
Reviews: 3
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: n/a
Taps: 8
Bottles: 12
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

155 E Commerce St
San Antonio, Texas, 78205-2226
United States
phone: (210) 222-2521

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @esquiretavern

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(Place added by: elNopalero on 07-16-2012)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11 | Reviews: 3 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pwaltz
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of Buttstallion
2.25/5  rDev -42.7%

Photo of brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of greenspointexas
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of Redrover
3.93/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.25

Esquire Tavern - Note that the area can appear a bit seedy, but I didn't run into any issues.

As you enter the long bar is on your left with some smaller booths on your right. There is a larger area in back with really cool windows.

High tin ceilings, some cool old fan/light fixtures, antler lights, stuffed critter and some funky velvet wall paper add to the lived in but not run down look.

There is also a patio in back.

TX blues and Austin style country on the speakers. There is also live music later at night.

Servers are a young, friendly and a slightly hipster bunch. Service is beer savvy but can get slow as they get crowded.

12 TX crafts on tap and a pretty solid bottle and can list will keep you lubricated.

Food menu was a pleasant surprise. Lots of cool takes on Texas classics. Many locally sourced ingredients.

Minor complaint, the turn the lights down to low at night. I want to see my food and beer...

I enjoyed my stop here and thing most folks will as well.

Photo of jasonmmccormick
3/5  rDev -23.7%

Photo of strangebrew1981
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of gtermi
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

The wife and I made The Esquire into our haven during a short trip to San Antonio to visit family. Amidst the cheesy-touristy-rowdy River Walk restaurants and bars, The Esquire stands out as classy and cool.

Great atmosphere, sort of hipster-meets-Texas, with wallpaper, filament light bulbs, stuffed turkeys... they even have a hipster bathroom attendant. Enough said.

The bar is bigger than the state of Rhode Island, and there are also booths right by it and a dining area with tables past the bar. From there, go on the patio or walk down to the river. Pretty neat.

11 taps, of which one is Modelo and ten are Texan craft brews, including Live Oak (three handles), Ranger Creek (2), Shiner (Blonde) and 512 and Independence (2 taps each).

Ranger Creek Oatmeal Pale Ale was nice and different, 512 IPA is da shit and Independence Convict Hill was an amazing strong oatmeal stout.

Basic food menu but nice stuff, even though we were a large group and some of the items came cold or overcooked. My bison burger with pimento cheese was delightful but grossly well-done (I ordered rare) and far from hot. The wife's grilled pimento-cheese sandwich was the clear winner.

Later on I went back to The Esquire two more times only for drinks and loved it. The cocktail program is stunning and reminded me of the the better cocktail clubs in NYC such as Death&Co.

Not a cheap place to booze up by any means, but a total must for the discerning drinker.

Photo of elNopalero
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Longest (wooden) bar top in Texas? Sure, that would make this a novelty pick. No, they've taken an iconic but utter dive bar and turned it into a destination. Classy and slightly chaotic, this is your best bet on the riverwalk for local/Texas craft beer.

I visited here twice in one week mid-June. First time was a busy, bustling Thursday night and the waitstaff seemed disorganized and the place looked more hipster than local—or tourist. Take the good and the bad.

Second time was early in the week, again in the evening. Much more relaxed vibe. Got a chance to chat with the bartender. Got a seat at the bar, even. Locals and tourists comingled, with the hipster patron vibe turned down. (This isn’t San Francisco folks—or Austin!)

Physical space aside, there’s nothing about the “new” Esquire that’s remotely similar to the “old” one. And depending on your style, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Fun fact: apparently the old Esquire had 311 911 calls their last year—or one a day, with Sundays off!

Ask the bartenders, the staff, even the customers and it seems like a sea change. Even the bathroom attendant professed to having never set foot in the Esquire pre-renovation. While I appreciate the changes I feel like the edge/grit/character of the old Esquire hasn’t only been cleaned up but lost in some ways.

They’ve been open long enough to work out the opening-night glitches, yet in both my visits I found they suffered from some minor disorganization amidst outright chaos. I appreciated the irony of my party’s tab being discounted on my first visit since the kitchen mixed up an order, followed by my tap on the second visit being combined with another party’s due to another mix-up. Bar karma? Either way they sorted it out and it was fine.
Food was fantastic, beer selection is solid with the tap handles dominated by local, Texas brews ((512), Live Oak, Ranger Creek). Oddly enough while most beers are $5-$6 a pint the times I was there they had Ranger Creek’s OPA going for $7 a pint. Seeing as how I’ll see this elsewhere around town for $3 to $4 I thought it was a misprint. If beer isn’t your thing the Esquire also has an incredible mixed drinks program with all sorts of cool concoctions.

A class act all the way.

The Esquire Tavern in San Antonio, TX
89 out of 100 based on 11 ratings.