July 2013

View from a Bar: The Esquire Tavern, San Antonio

By: Anthony Head


"It's quite a walk," the barkeep tells me, referring to his territory behind one of the lengthiest wooden bars you'll likely ever lay eyes on. It's over 90 feet long, comes with a brass foot rail and purse hooks, and has three-quarters-of-a-century's worth of San Antonio drinking history nicked and notched onto its surface. It anchors The Esquire Tavern and, for a barkeep who must deliver the kind of service and skill worthy of a James Beard nomination for "Best Bar Program" (2012), getting from one end to the other is, indeed, quite a walk.

He delivers my draft of Ranger Creek Lucky Ol' Sun and disappears again to the other side. The blonde Belgian-style ale is made locally with Lone Star State honey. It's light and crisp with a distinct sweetness that pairs perfectly with the chili-salt on my fries. It is my yellow rose on this hot Texas afternoon, when I become just another notch on the bar.

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