Best of SA 2012
Best Old Man Bar
Published: April 25, 2012
1. Raffles Restaurant and Bar
1039 NE Loop 410, (210) 826-7118, rafflesrestaurantandbar.com
"Old Man Bar" doesn't necessarily mean the joint is filled with octogenarians looking for a cheap Manhattan to pad out the hours remaining until they die. It can just mean a place for folks who want basic food and unpretentious booze without being surrounded by blaring music and mindless alpha dudes yelling into their smart phones. Or, in the case of Raffles, it can be a bar that seems permanently stuck in the year of its founding. Everything, not just the cocktails, screams old-fashioned: from its fifth-tier celebrity proprietor (owner Gair Allie spent one sub-Mendoza-Line season with the Pittsburgh Pirates) to its Frank Costanza-ish slogan ("The Place To Be!") to its menu, heavy on the likes of pepper steak and hamburger patties. Even their website looks like it dates from around 1995. Grab a table and imagine what it'll be like when you don't have to hustle all the time.