Bottoms Up

It's happy hour every hour at this new downtown San Antonio wine bar and taproom

It's happy hour every hour at this new downtown San Antonio bar

1909 Taproom
Drink on the cheap at Hotel Gibb's new bar. Hotel Gibbs/ Facebook

San Antonio’s upscale bar scene is perfect when we are feeling flush, but close to payday, it can be difficult to pony up $10 or more for a single drink. But thanks to a nightlife newcomer, almost any budget can be kept in good spirits.

1909 Taproom celebrated their grand opening May 9. Located in the Hotel Gibbs at 105 N. Alamo St., the new bar is just steps away from San Antonio’s most famous mission, and — more importantly — all the drinks on the menu are only $4.

The space is a sleek remodel of the 1909 Bar & Bistro. When Albuquerque-based company TNJ Group bought Hotel Indigo in September 2017, they decided to not only rebrand the hotel, but its amenities. According to TNJ operations V.P. Pranav Patel, they made a conscious decision to move away from food.

“We’re across the River Walk and there are so many wonderful restaurants to compete with,” Patel told CultureMap, noting that hotel food doesn’t always have the best reputation.

While the new concept does offer cocktails, it specializes in craft beer and wine. With the exception of a handful of domestic and Mexican beers, all selections are regionally sourced. “We wanted to give people another reason to experience Texas and San Antonio,” said Patel.

On the tap side, the selections include Busted Sandal Brewing Company’s Slippery Rock IPA, Freetail’s Bat Outta Helles, St. Arnold Brewing’s Santo kolsch, and Texas Honey cider from Austin Eastciders.

Wines, including McPherson Cellar’s lauded Sangiovese, a crisp Sauvignon Blanc from Escondido Valley, and Fall Creek’s fruit-forward Cabernet Sauvignon Reata, come from all over the state.

In case you are thinking there’s a catch, Patel notes that the beers come in pints and the wines have a standard pour. And to make it an even bigger bargain, 1909 even offers complimentary snacks like chips, salsa, and queso.

“We want to be a place where people can have a great time,” Patel said, “whether they’re locals or visiting.”