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Startup ultra lounge with a hip-hop soul promises good things to come

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Two red stilettos nailed to a plaque mark the ladies room door. Just another inventive detail that proves Blu Bar & Lounge is going in for the grown and sexy kill. With its fluoro blue lighting, silver bead curtains, and posh booths, Blu could be seen as yet another Dallas-style nightclub offering plenty of glitz but no real charisma. The difference between Blu and your average ultra lounge is that this club has real hip-hop heart. Not since the days of the Davenport, which closed down in the early 2000s, have lovers of quality hip-hop had a place to call their own. At Blu, the décor may be impressive but the rotating cast of DJs, including DJ Donnie Dee and DJ Gibb, is even more so.

This crew involves top-billing talent who aren't afraid to play deep cuts that the average clubgoer might not recognize. And how refreshing. After all, with radio stations overplaying the same few bangers, why go out just to hear the same 20 tracks all night long? Although San Antonio is a casual place, Blu is decidedly not. A doorman prevents ragamuffins from entering, and collared shirts for men are a must. The effort is worthwhile, however, at a bar where fresh flowers sit alongside martini glasses hanging above a glowing white bar.

Owned by the same folks who brought you Rebar, Tucker's Kozy Korner, and Revolution Room, Blu stands a chance at achieving the dressier downtown vibe that those clubs aspired to before settling into more low key neighborhood spots.

Just opened in January, Blu takes the place of the former Bar 11 across from North Star Mall. While the location is not typical nightclub territory — the patio overlooks a Tuesday Morning location — other bars like Backstage Lounge have made a go of this no-mans-land.

Blu is open Wednesday through Sunday, with Saturday being the most popular night. Between two levels of dancing, strong drinks, and a few best friends, you'll stay entertained for hours. On a recent Thursday, the super-friendly bartender, when asked to mix me a signature drink, made a strawberry martini the likes of which I'd gladly pay $10. Under the you-call-it special, it only cost me $2.50. The bar was full of hip-hop aficionados who had no problem rapping along with verses by Too Short, Pete Rock, and Digable Planets spun by the knowledgeable DJ Gibb. As it was a weeknight and getting quite late, I kept trying to leave, but the music was just too good. Before I knew it I was dancing to Kid 'n Play with a group of strangers, soon to be friends. •

Blu Bar & Lounge

126 W Rector, Ste 136
(210) 524-0088


Upscale lounge with all the amenities (including great hip-hop) and none of the cheesiness.


Best Use
A legitimately cool place to wear all those cute dresses and heels hanging out in your closet.


Beer $3-$5, cocktails $5-$8. $100 bottle service. Specials daily.

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