Dare to take a peek behind the metal-bead chain curtain and slide onto a leather barstool at swank VBAR? This spot is dark, urban, contemporary, trendy, and sophisticated—like the Hotel Valencia in which it is housed, and not unlike the kind of bar you'd find at a W Hotel, too. Low lighting and low chairs, colored light displays, craft cocktails, and a wall of bottles and glass—it all comes together to create the kind of cocktail spot where the hip can mingle. Want to chill outside? Slink into one of the low seats out on the stone terrace, which is well lit by high sconces that splash light on the shimmering water along the River Walk. DJs spin pop and hip-hop on weekends, and bartenders are known for their generous pours. VBAR carries a good selection of cigars, imported beers, and bar bites, too. A sign says the dress code is strictly enforced, but it sure doesn't seem like anyone pays attention. Jeans and flip-flops are not uncommon. Still, stilettos, short skirts, and skinny ties are found on weekend nights. For those driving in, the hotel offers complimentary valet parking when a bartender validates the ticket: A classy and smart move on the part of the hotel, I'd say.
San Antonio› Nightlife
Inside the Hotel Valencia, 50 E. Houston St.
Our Rating Neighborhood Central/Downtown/River Walk Hours Daily 4pm–3am Transportation Streetcar: Yellow Phone 210/227-9700 Prices No cover, cocktails $9–$10 Web site VBAR