History

The Oldest Continuously-Operating Saloon in the State is in the Texas Hill Country

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Loaded with stories of days gone by, the Menger Bar, located in the Alamo Plaza in San Antonio, is the oldest bar in Texas. The Lone Star State is known for its history, and almost anywhere you go you’ll find some fascinating remnant of the past, but this place definitely has a story to tell. Situated inside the Menger Hotel, this bar is recognized as the longest continuously-operating saloon in Texas. So, one can only guess the stories it could tell.

The Menger Bar opened its doors in 1887, although the hotel itself was constructed prior to that. With close to 160 years of history under its belt, it was voted one of the top 10 historic bars in the state. It offers patrons a unique Hill Country experience as an exact replica of London, England’s House of Lords Pub. Visitors are not only amazed at the drinks they can enjoy here (including daiquiris, margaritas, and whatnot), but also the beveled mirrors that came from France, the dark cherry wood-paneled ceiling, and the brass spittoons that have been preserved from the early days of this establishment.

One of the bar’s more famous stories is that of how the 1,250 volunteer Rough Riders were recruited here by none other than Teddy Roosevelt just prior to going to fight in the Spanish American War. It’s certainly seen its fair share of famous patrons. The Menger Bar has also set the stage for a number of cattle deals – more than anywhere else in the state. A glass case maintaining artifacts and information about that period of time is also on hand for visitors to learn more. If you’re into that sort of thing whilst you sip on something a little bit stronger than an umbrella drink at a tropical venue, then the Menger Bar in San Antonio is more your cup of tea…’er whiskey.