Laid-back neighborhood bar and gallery quietly open in Dignowity Hill
San Antonio may not be lacking in watering holes, but enjoying them can be a production. After waiting 15 minutes for an Uber, patrons must jostle through rowdy crowds, only to go hoarse yelling out a drink order. In the world of local nightlife, there literally is no chill.
But at least one Dignowity Hill newcomer is bucking the trend. On October 13, Small Talk quietly debuted at 910 Nolan St., promising a more low-key experience for Eastsiders. Now getting its bearings, the concept has become a spot to check out local art, jam to a vinyl deejay set, or just down an end-of-week beer.
The bar occupies a corner of a vintage shopping center, lately invigorated by Coffin Dagger Tattoo and chic gift shop Son of a Sailor. Joshua Castleman, Bubba Tx, Alan Codd, and Manual Gomez spruced up former bar Diggie’s — adding whimsical artwork, a spacious patio, and a micro gallery next door.
According to Tx, Small Talk is still a work in progress, a “blank canvas for anyone who shows up.”
“We’re trying to have a spot that isn’t intimidating to anyone and is comfortable for most people” Tx continues. “Even though we can’t make everyone happy, we are doing our best.”
Part of that relies on the expertise of Codd and Gomez, partners in similarly low-key bars Faust Tavern and Lighthouse Lounge, respectively. Part of it is offering a little something for everyone.
Though Tx says the team is still finalizing year-round and seasonal menus, the drinks are diverse. One can order a balanced margarita with top-shelf tequila or chug a Miller High Life.
“Our current bartender has been in the business for around 10 years,” he adds, “so we are stoked to see what she puts together.”
The adjacent gallery, however, is in full swing. Tx, a tattoo artist at the popular San Pedro Avenue shop Doomsday Tattoo, curates all the programming. Local artist Ashley Flowers will be showcased from November 10-12.
Though the bar will develop over time, there’s no rush for now.
“We’re here for a good time. And to support the growth of our community and local artists,” sums up Tx.