On Thursday night there isn’t shit going on in San Antonio.
Sure there are “regular” bar things to do during “regular” bar hours… But in general San Antonio shuts down EARLY. This doesn’t work for someone who has his first round after 10pm.
I found The Bang Bang Bar by Googling “dive + live music + San Antonio”. The only place that hit the requirements and was still open…The Bang Bang Bar.
I walked into The Bang Bang Bar in San Antonio around 11pm and Morrissey was playing. I thought some local black clad youth had beat the bar Bros to the juke box and snuck in Everyday is Like Sunday under their Lone Star swilling noses.
No no no. Darlings, it was Morrissey Night and the DJ spent the rest of the evening until close spinning The Smiths and Morrissey.
I had found the coolest place in San Antonio.
A wall of records greeted me on my way in. It’s the Holiday Season, so a lone Christmas tree sat next to an electric organ that looked like it was left over from the Blues Brothers.
There was an arcade area with a pool table, darts and skee ball. And they had a back area that was adorned with what looked like a Southern Gothic Yard Sale emptied out under lamps that were old and good the way things used to be made.
A dance floor laid in front of the DJ spinning Morrissey and off to the right was a raised small living room area, 50s chic, with Lucy stuck on the TV and decorations of records coming out of suitcases.
The Bang Bang Bar had character in spades.
A few shots and Lone Stars later I was interested in the colorful bartender and the “Pop Rock” shots she was making. She told me the recipe, but she might have well as told me the location of the fucking holy grail for what I could remember at that point of the night. The shot tasted like what you would expect. Delicious and fizzy, like Red Bull fucked Prosecco covered in sweet tarts.
We lounged and ordered outside food to the bar from the only open pizza place in town and ate as we hung, watching the local tragically hip softly bag their heads and Morrissey continued to play.
While the decorations and eclectic furniture defined the place in it’s differences it was the crowd that fascinated me the most. If you build it, even in San Antonio, they will come. There was an older couple that looked like they had stepped out of Warhol’s Factory playing pool. Sports jersey clad locals hung and drank ambiguous lite beer out of bottles and kept to themselves. The black vested hipster outlaw crowd drank PBRS and smoked outside. And the drunks hugged the bar and nursed the night away.
The Bang Bang Bar was everything I needed that night and if you ever pass through San Antonio I recommend going in. They regularly host free live music (one of the only places in town) and when I got my tab the only thing I thought is “there is no way THAT total is enough”. The tab was amazingly low.
On top of the live music they have Taco Tuesday or ask you to join them for a “boozy Sunday brunch with some monstrously garnished bloody marys and micheladas.”
Cheap drinks. Good music. Cool people. And a great atmosphere that is all character and no bullshit stuffiness that seems to plague “cool Dives” now-a-days.
Check it out Darlings.
More info Here: