Durty Nelly's Irish Pub/ Facebook

Plenty of River Walk bars will don shamrock drag for the holiday, but green beer alone does not St. Patrick’s Day make. With a rich Irish history and an ever-growing nightlife scene, San Antonio is now full of proper pubs. Sure, a few aren’t exactly authentic, but that Party City leprechaun hat isn’t either.

The Cottage Irish Pub
Away from the downtown throb on Broadway, this newcomer is ideal for a quieter St. Pat’s. Day drinkers can fortify with a full Irish breakfast with brown soda bread and rashers, then get a respectable buzz with a frozen Irish coffee or two. Start with hand-cut chips with a tangy curry sauce.

Durty Nelly’s
This long-standing pub is a faithful recreation of its namesake in Limerick, complete with stone walls and a hearth. Trade clover suspenders for classic Donegal tweed and sidle up to a barstool for a whiskey flight or a Black and Tan.

The Irish Pub
A Medical Center go-to, this no-frills watering hole offers simple sandwiches, cocktails, and plenty of shots, shots, shots. More dive bar than a classic pub, it gives just what a neighborhood bar should — a comfortable place for carousing with friends.

Kennedy’s Public House
One might be more likely to see Dubliner nosh on black pudding than Irish nachos, but let’s face it. This American ode to Gaelic(ish) ingredients is bar food done right. This strip-mall pub’s version is jam-packed with all the fixings, which is reason enough to celebrate.

Mad Dogs
This River Walk stop has about as much to do with the United Kingdom as Hooter’s has to do with owls, but it is on the route of the annual parade. Nonetheless, the bar stocks various whiskies and domestic and imported craft beer. And its cottage pie has all the necessary carbs to soak the booze up.

Maddy McMurphy’s
This downtown haunt has long been a fave with footie fans thanks to its near-blinding array of flat screens. Guests can also cheer on its well-stocked bar, which includes some unexpected Irish whiskies and less-common beer imports like Smithwick’s Red Ale. The food runs the sports bar gamut from nachos to pizza, but Irish classics like beef Guinness stew and pasties scream, “Erin go bragh.”

Waxy O’Connor’s
With its dark wood cabinetry and bric-a-brac on the walls, this St. patty’s day destination offers a more enveloping atmosphere than some of the bars on this list. The specialty cocktail list keeps the theme going with Irish versions of popular drinks.

Photo courtesy of San Antonio Botanical Garden

Here are the top 5 things to do in San Antonio this weekend

Weekend Event Guide

Experience the sounds of the city with the help of these must-attend musical happenings. See The Zombies live in concert or groove to music under the stars at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. Check out the top five things to do in San Antonio this weekend. For a full list of events, visit our calendar.

Thursday, March 16

The San Antonio Botanical Garden presents "Lush: Twilight in the Garden"
A new after-hours entertainment series is in full bloom at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. This month’s activities are inspired by the theme "Luck in Lush" and will include extended garden hours, live music, entertainment, a signature beverage, and an array of floral displays for ambiance. For more information and to snag your tickets, visit sabot.org.

Ben Rector in concert
Singer-songwriter Ben Rector performs live at the Majestic Theatre in support of his album, The Joy of Music. Rector has released seven studio albums and has topped the charts with songs like “Brand New” and “Love Like This.” For seating availability, visit Ticketmaster.

Friday, March 17

Druski: Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda Tour
Comedian and Internet personality Druski takes his brand of comedy on the road as part of his first-ever, headlining comedy tour, Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda. Fans can experience his blend of skits, storytelling, and social media-infused content at Majestic Theatre live and in person. Visit the Ticketmaster for more information.

Saturday, March 18

The Zombies in concert
Legendary British psych rock band The Zombies comes to San Antonio for one night only. The group behind hits like “She’s Not There” and “Indication” performs at the Aztec Theatre in support of their new album, Different Game. They will be joined by special guest AJ Smith. Get ticket information via Live Nation.

Sunday, March 19

Lush: Twilight in the Garden
Photo courtesy of San Antonio Botanical Garden

San Antonio Botanical Garden invites revelers for "Lush: Twilight in the Garden" on March 16.

Tobin Center for the Performing Arts presents "Yamato: The Drummers of Japan"
See the spotlight shine on Japanese Taiko drumming during this special performance by Yamato. This storied drumming group hails from Asuka-mura Nara Prefecture, also known as the “hometown of Japan,” and has traveled to 54 countries in the almost three decades since its formation. A select number of tickets are still available at tobincenter.org.

Photo courtesy of Taste of the Republic

San Antonio's official Fiesta foodie event crowns very first king and queen


Attention royal watchers! A pair of new monarchs have ascended to the throne. We suspect they’ll be less prone to tell-alls than a certain other aristocratic pair.

On April 20, Doc Watkins and Ara Celi will begin their reign as the King and Queen of the Republic. Although Taste of the Republic has wowed guests as the VIP culinary kickoff to Fiesta San Antonio for six years, this will be the event’s first coronation.

Doc Watkins is familiar to any San Antonio music lover. Not only is he an accomplished jazz pianist, but he also owns the swanky underground nightclub Jazz, TX, at the Pearl.

Ara Celi made her name in acting, snagging up roles in blockbusters like American Beauty, Machete, and Bruce Almighty. Dapper Dans across town might also know her for her chain of upscale barbershops, Matador Men’s Grooming.

The coronation adds to the electric atmosphere already promised by Taste of the Republic. The event recently announced an all-star 12 local celebrity chef, who will throw down with founding chef Brian West to serve food from the six culinary regions of Texas.

In a season of firsts, Taste of the Republic will also move to The Alamo this year, coinciding with the opening of the new Ralston Family Collections Center of historical artifacts, including the vast Alamo collection of “In the Air Tonight” singer Phil Collins.

Those wanting a sneak peek at all the excitement can join Watkins as he hosts a special performance at Jazz, TX, on March 26. A fundraiser for Fiesta San Antonio and the Remember the Alamo Foundation, the intimate event will include premium seating packages with a meet-and-greet, a signed copy of Watkin’s latest album, and bottle service. Tickets, ranging from $99-$310, are available online.

A Night in Old San Antonio/ Facebook

A Night in Old San Antonio returns to enchant locals with new food and fun this April


Currently, in homes across the city, locals are busily crafting flower crowns, searching for new guayaberas, and dreaming of chicken on a stick. Fiesta San Antonio is just around the corner, and tickets are now on sale for one of the season’s most popular events.

The planners of A Night in Old San Antonio, affectionately referred to as NIOSA, have revealed the details of this year’s festival. The four-night celebration of Alamo City’s rich cultural heritage will be held April 25 through 28, 5:30-10:30 pm nightly, offering revelers more than 165 food, beverage, and entertainment booths; continuous live music, and the chance to snag up essential Fiesta souvenirs.

As usual, the affair will be held at La Villita Historic Arts Village District, taking full advantage of four acres of puro atmosphere. The grounds will be divided into 14 districts in homage to the city’s diverse identity, from a frontier town done up in Old West duds to a mural-filled zone honoring Spain.

The big news this year is that NIOSA is doing away with wristbands and returning to paper coupons. Although cash is the only accepted currency, ATMS will be scattered across the site so people can purchase sausage and medals to their heart’s content. In honor of its 75th anniversary, the Chili Queens will also return. The vendor’s origins at NIOSA date back to 1947 when volunteers would create replicas of the chili stands that were formerly scattered across Juarez Plaza.

As always, the event will benefit The Conservation Society’s work to preserve the San Antonio area’s historical properties and parks. From 2010 to 2020, NIOSA raised more than $12 million to help the 99-year organization continue its mission.

$20 advance entry tickets are available through April 28 online or at area H-E-B stores, Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base, and Randolph Air Force Base. Tickets at the gate are $25, and children 12 and under are free.


Riverdance stomps into San Antonio for limited summer run


In the ‘90s, it was an obsession. Millions of kids across the nation began clomping wildly in stocking feet, mimicking the pitter-patter of Irish stepdance. Now, those frenzied hoofers can introduce a whole new generation to the magic of Riverdance.

The spectacular touring production is heading to the Majestic Theatre for its 25th-anniversary tour. Presale tickets are available now for the June 9-11 engagement but require a precode from the theatre.

The unlikely cultural phenomenon began at Europe’s hub of everything weird and wonderful, the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest. The interval performance received such a rapturous response that husband and wife team Moya Doherty and John McColgan decided to pony up over $1 million to produce a full-length show.

After runs in Dublin and London, the show crossed the pond to Radio City Music Hall in 1996. Since then, clip-clopping has been heard across the world.

For the anniversary tour, original composer Bill Whelan rerecorded the ethereal soundtrack while Doherty and McColgan reimagined the staging. New props, video components, and costume design have been created for an immersive experience.

Children ages 6 and up are welcome to the event, but parents and guardians should be warned. Lay out a few rugs before the show. There will be furious footwork in the living room for days after the show.

Photo courtesy of Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil swings back to San Antonio for first big top show


Step right up! Cirque du Soleil is returning to San Antonio for the first time since 2006 and presenting its first-ever local show under the big top.

On March 15, the internationally acclaimed circus company announced it was bringing its extravagant production BAZZAR to Nelson Wolff Stadium from November 5 to December 3. The engagement is only the second stop on the North American tour and the Southwest debut of the production.

Initially created in 2018, BAZZAR was only staged in India and the Middle East before a 2022 relaunch. BAZZAR has since toured in Sao Paolo, Rio de Janeiro, and Santiago, Chile, and will be presented in Colombia and Argentina before heading north to its first United States dates.

BAZZAR draws inspiration from traditional Middle Eastern bazaars, capturing the bustling energy of open-air markets through high-flying acrobatics. As always, a close-knit crew of aerial artists, dancers, and musicians offer an immersive experience for audiences of all ages — and a peek inside the creative process.

“My biggest high is the creative process,” says writer and director Susan Gaudreau via a release.“There is nothing more fascinating for the audience than when artists share that with you— What they go through... Their inner, creative world.”

Passes for BAZZAR’s San Antonio shows are currently available online exclusively to Club Cirque members. Locals can sign up for a free subscription online. Tickets will open up the general public on March 20.

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A Night in Old San Antonio returns to enchant locals this April, plus more top stories

Hot Headlines

Editor’s note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. Here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. A Night in Old San Antonio returns to enchant locals with new food and fun this April. This beloved celebration of Alamo City’s rich cultural heritage will be held April 25- 28, offering revelers food, live music, and Fiesta souvenirs.

2. Splash, spin, and swing into San Antonio's best spring activities for the whole family. Sure, Spring Break is coming to an end, but several of our spring activity picks can keep the family entertained throughout the year.

3. Southern Living names Texas Hill Country hot spot a top Southern small town. The magazine dubbed Fredericksburg the No. 4 best Southern small town, but of course, it will always be No. 1 in our hearts.

4. Riverdance stomps into San Antonio for limited summer run. The spectacular touring production is heading to the Majestic Theatre for its 25th-anniversary tour.

5. Cirque du Soleil swings back to San Antonio for first big top show. Cirque du Soleil's BAZZAR is making its Southwest debut in San Antonio this year.

San Antonio rent prices increased 7 percent from 2022, report finds


Apartment rent keeps going up in Texas, and in San Antonio the increase is seven percent more than last year, making it more difficult to afford living in the city. That’s according to a new national rent report from online rental marketplace Zumper.

Despite rent increases showing small improvements month-over-month, overall prices are still on the high side from the previous year. For example, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in San Antonio is $1,430 now, in March of 2023, which is a 1.4 percent decrease from the previous month, but a 4.4 percent increase from 2022. The average rent for a one-bedroom is $1,160, which is a mere .90 percent increase month-over-month, but a whopping 7.4 percent increase from last year.

The report looked at rental data from more than one million active listings in the top 100 cities in the United States to determine the rankings. Zumper ranked San Antonio the No. 66 most expensive rental market across the nation in February of 2023, up three places from the last report.

The report attributes these recent rental increase trends to the nation's rising inflation rate and unpredictable economy. Though unemployment is low (less than 3.4 percent), potential homebuyers are being sidelined with increasing interest rates. This is causing more competition among renters all over the country.

“Many markets continue to either normalize or correct following the steep increases in rent seen in 2021 [and 2022] in the zero interest rate [and] QE environment we went through,” said Zumper CEO Anthemos Georgiades in the report. “With interest rates expected to rise further in 2023, we anticipate continued deceleration in rent rises as new household formation freezes or is at least postponed.”

Much higher up the list from San Antonio is its Central Texas neighbor Austin, coming in as the No. 25 most expensive rental market, which is a two-place increase from a previous report. Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment stayed relatively flat over the last month, at $1,670, yet is still 7.7 percent higher than it was last year. Two-bedroom apartments saw a higher year-over-year increase at 8.4 percent, with the average rent price at $2,070.

Several cities in the DFW metro area also made the list, as well as Houston (No. 51) and El Paso (No. 95). Most notably, Irving (No. 34) is experiencing a nearly 15 percent year-over-year rent increase for both one- and two-bedroom apartments.

The nine total Texas cities that made the list include:

  • No. 25 – Austin
  • No. 34 – Irving
  • No. 36 – Dallas
  • No. 40 – Plano
  • No. 51 – Houston
  • No. 55 – Fort Worth
  • No. 66 – San Antonio
  • No. 67 – Arlington
  • No. 95 – El Paso

The full data from Zumper’s National Rent Report can be found at zumper.com.

Crafting the perfect sip-and-stay vacay in Lubbock

Bottoms Up

Did you know that around 80 percent of all grapes sourced by Texas wineries come from the High Plains AVA in West Texas? Or that Lubbock has its own signature cocktail? The city's craft beer scene has also exploded in the past five years.

All of this means that the West Texas city is now bubbling up with ideas for a refreshing getaway, whether you're a hophead, oenophile, or even a mocktail maven.

Curious to taste these bevvies for yourself? Here's what's brewing in Lubbock:

Cheers for beers

Two Docs Brewing Co.: The double doctors in the brewery's name are Dr. Eric Cunningham (a veterinarian) and Dr. Tyson Purdy (a family medicine practitioner), cousins who took their love of beer public in 2019. Located in the Cultural District, the environmentally-conscious brewery is known for its Buddy Hoppy IPA, Lubbock Light lager, and Two Docs Bock.

The Brewery LBK: USA Today crowned this newish brewery the Top Brewpub in the Nation, and it's a title head brewmaster Sally Taylor and general manager Mike Nghiem don't take lightly. The beers are a mix of classic profiles and inventive flavors, with plenty of seasonal rotations and nods to Hub City. Try the Low Hanging Fruit, made with Albarino grapes from the local Veesart Vineyards. Wine on the nose with flavors of bright citrus complement a wheat and barley backbone with farmhouse ale notes.

Good Line Beer Co.: What began as a true garage start-up is now a celebrated brewery in the historic Tech Terrace neighborhood, putting out brews with whimsical names like Catastrophe Girlfriend (a raspberry weisse), Range Life (a pilsner), and Bitter Buffalo (an IPA). Owners Chris Troutman and Shawn Phillips are heavy on community, with local artist Dirk Fowler creating the label designs.

Wine time

Syrah is one of the key grape varieties grown here, alongside Tempranillo and Grenache — two other varieties known to perform well in warm, dry climates like the Texas High Plains AVA. White grapes are also grown, but to a much lesser extent, mostly from Viognier, Chenin Blanc, and Sauvignon Blanc..

Seek out your next favorite glass (or bottle!) at Bolen Winery Vineyards, Burklee Hill Vineyards, English Newsom Cellars, McPherson Cellars, La Diosa Cellars, and Llano Estacado Winery, the second-oldest winery in the state. Adelphos Cellars will also open soon, inviting Lubbock into the city's newest winery, tasting room, and event venue.

The famous Lubbock Chilton

Called "a cocktail as bright and pure as the West Texas sun" by Texas Monthly, the Chilton is a refreshing cocktail comprised of vodka, fresh lemon juice, bubbly water, and a salted rim. The story goes that years ago, a parched Dr. Chilton instructed a bartender at the Lubbock Country Club to mix these ingredients together, and a signature sip was born.

You'll spot the Chilton all around town, with variations that range from fruity to spicy and even as the inspiration for a few seasonal beers. Here's a primer if you're not sure where to start.

Zero-proof pours

Alcohol isn't required for a great drink — just ask The West Table Kitchen and Bar and The Nicolett.

Everyone is included in the toast at The West Table with offerings such as the tropical Riki Tiki and "gin" rambler Baby Blue, among others. Each libation feels even more elegant thanks to the restaurant's location within the historic Pioneer Building in downtown Lubbock.

Two Docs Brewing Co

Photo courtesy of Visit Lubbock

Two Docs Brewing Co. was actually founded by two doctors.

At The Nicolett, 2022 James Beard Semifinalist for Best Chef: Texas and owner of The Nicolett, Finn Walter incorporated several non-alcoholic beverages into his cocktail menu to serve a craft experience for all to savor. From the botanical Garden Gimlet to the sweet-tart I Love Yuzu, each showcases an alcohol alternative in the ingredients list.

Where to rest your head

Stow your suitcase at the newly opened Aloft hotel, or check into an Airbnb managed by Home on the Range LBK, which owns four beautifully decorated properties all near Texas Tech University.

Looking forward

In the coming months, Lubbock will see the debut of Milestones Park and a new Dave & Busters. Even if you've visited before, there's always more to discover in Hub City — plan your next visit now.