When it was announced in March 2017 that neighborhood hangout Stay Golden Social House was closing down to make way for a new development, enough tears were shed around Alamo City to fill the San Antonio River. Now the city can dry its eyes. A new version of the popular bar is days away from debuting at 1900 Broadway St.
As first reported by the San Antonio Express-News, owners Boulevardier Group aim to open Still Golden Social House around the beginning of March pending inspections (the exact date will be announced via social media). Although the bar will not be an exact replica of the former concept, many of the elements — such as the chalkboard menu signs — are featured in the new bar.
Boulevardier co-owner Jeret Peña recognizes what a special place Stay Golden had in San Antonio’s heart. “Stay Golden was a very special place and will become part of the lore of the San Antonio drinking culture,” he tells CultureMap. “All we can hope to do is offer a comfortable place, affordable drinks and blast rock, punk rock, dark wave, and yacht rock through the space in memory of that iconic bar.”
In keeping with the original spirit of Stay Golden, Still Golden will very much be a neighborhood bar. It also mirrors the general shift in drinking culture away from upscale cocktail lounges and towards more casual joints that still offer creative mixed drinks.
“I have been doing this gig for a while and I have seen the ride of the craft scene," Peña explains. "People don’t want to wait for their drinks nor do they want to pay for $11 [or] $16 drinks. Big food and beverage corporations are including the craft element into their DNA. Basically, we have won the war in making craft cocktails part of our society’s drinking culture. The down side to that is everyone is doing it now. We are victims of our own success.”
Just what does the shift mean for Still Golden? For starters, drinks will be a lot more affordable. General manager Stephan Mendez tells CultureMap that house cocktails will be $8, and happy hour will offer discounts on mixed drinks, wine, and draft beer. And Peña says that Still Golden will be the first Boulevardier bar to sell pitchers.
Still Golden will especially focus on Texas breweries with an initial lineup that includes High Wheel, Freetail, Live Oak, Alamo Brewery, Austin Eastciders, Southern Star, Shiner, and Lone Star. An extra tap or two will be kept open to rotate seasonal and limited releases like a special High Wheel tapping planned for St. Patrick’s Day.
“There are some amazing breweries in Texas doing great work and I believe it’s our responsibility as bar managers and purchasers to help showcase these folks,” says Mendez.
Patrons should also expect a wide variety of cocktails. Although Mendez says the bar is still workshopping names, San Antonio flavors will be well represented in a cocktail featuring Suerte tequila, triple sec, lime, passion fruit, and ghost pepper tincture and another with vodka, Spanish liqueur Licor 43, pineapple, citric acid, and Big Red.
“Cocktails will vary from complex to approachable while still targeting our clientele,” says Mendez. “We want to keep it as engaging as possible for the weekend crowd, nerdy enough for the cocktail geeks, and affordable enough for the average Joe.”