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Restaurant Review

Esquire brings speakeasy feel back to the River Walk

Photo: Josh Huskin, License: N/A

Josh Huskin

A bean burger from The Esquire


Of course, you can’t review a bar without getting into the drinks. The libation menu is one worthy of the oldest bar on the River Walk. Beer, wine, spirits, and cocktails create a menu that’s as thick as a book. Cocktails are organized by what kind of feeling you’re after: “light and bright,” “big and boozy,” “long and refreshing.” The friends-and-family cocktails are named for the Esquire’s chums. Beers are organized similarly, with a section just for oddities. Maybe they’re referring to the décor?

I ordered the Oaxaca Mule to see if I took to the combination of mescal, lime, and ginger beer. It’s a potent drink from the “long and refreshing section.” Not sure what’s long about it, but it’s refreshing in a knock-you-on-your-ass-and-pick-you-back-up kind of way. From the “light and bright” category, the Aviation is the perfect summer drink. Lemon and cherry flavors make it cheery, while the gin lulls you into a tipsy stupor. It’s like a nap in a hammock on a summer day.

If the décor gets too dark for you, sit outside on the patio a floor above the river and marvel at the tourists below searching for generic Tex-Mex and margaritas. If they’d venture up that metal staircase to the Esquire Tavern, they’d find all the San Antonio charm and history they need. •

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