Architecture, ART, Attractions, DESTINATIONS, Restaurants & Bars, Road Trips, TRAVEL, United States

The Alamo & Menger Bar

Arneson River Theater, Riverwalk, San Antonio TX
San Antonio’s Arneson River Theater


As soon as we moved in to the Hotel Contessa and got our ducks in a row, we hit the Riverwalk. First stop: Arneson River Theater to buy tickets for Fiesta Noche del Rio.

Fun Along the Riverwalk

It’s not very often that buying tickets rates as part of the fun, but then it’s not everyday that you’re buying tickets on the Riverwalk for the Alamo Kiwanas Fiesta Noche del Rio.

Deb and I enjoy life as if we were still the twenty-somethings we were when we met.  We strolled over to the theater and found a cute Kiwanas guy selling tickets along the Riverwalk, just as their advertisement had promised.  By the way, the advertisement promised they would be selling tickets.  It said nothing about cute guys.  We just got lucky.

Neither Deb or I have any use for any guys (on a permanent or even semi-permanent basis), because our husbands are more than enough (thank you very much).  But if you’ve got to buy some tickets anyway, it’s nice to do so from a personable young man who also happens to be cute.

He was probably young enough to be a child of either one of us, but we won’t go there.  As he rattled off the price of the tickets, he mentioned that seniors got $5 off regular admission.  We asked what age made you a senior.  Thankfully, he looked at us as if to say, “Not any age either one of you will be any time soon,” but what he actually said was, “No gentleman asks a lady her age.  If you’re willing say you’re seniors then that’s good enough for me.”  When we revealed our actual ages he remained incredulous, so he was immediately became one of our favorite people – but we did get the tickets for $15 instead of $20.

Visiting The Alamo

The Alamo, Riverwalk, San Antonio TX
And there she is – The Alamo!

The show would start at 8:30 so we still had hours and hours to fill.  We decided to head over to the Alamo.  Deb had a friend who said a relative of hers was in a picture on the Gift Shop wall.  We also felt somewhat obligated to go take a picture.  It’s like a rite of passage each time you visit San Antonio.

The landmark was about to close for the day, so we high-tailed it to the gift shop, but they must have remodeled since the Alamo defender’s descendant last visited.  No historical photographs were displayed in the gift shop.

Margaritas at the Menger

With the obligatory picture in our cameras, we decided to hit the Menger Bar for some Margaritas.  Now the Menger Bar is another of those spots I’ve wished to visit, but I never talked anyone else into it.  “You mean it’s just an old bar?”, I’ve been asked several times.  Well, nanny nanny poo poo, Deb and I went and we had fun.  The proximity of the bar to the Alamo and the prospect of margaritas, probably had as much to do with Deb’s cooperative nature as anything else, but who am I to complain about getting what I want.

Tom and Lula Mae on their 50th wedding anniversary.

See, the Menger Bar is not just any old bar.  It’s been around for a very long time.  Notable figures ranging from Robert E Lee and Theodore Roosevelt to Lillie Langtry and Mae West have sidled up to the Menger Bar to wet their whistle.  It’s most famous for Teddy Roosevelt using it as a recruiting station for the Spanish American War, but it’s also the place where barbed wire got its start.  I’m partial to the Teddy Roosevelt story, because my grandfather, Thomas Byron Mobley, fought in that altercation and Lula Mae, his wife, was the last one to receive widow benefits from that war.  A senator showed up one day to give my grandmother the check in person, but I don’t think Tom signed up down in San Antonio.  At least not that I’ve heard.

All that being said, the bar is a small dark hole in the wall with low ceilings and some historical memorabilia spread around.  It was great for people-watching, because several large family groups were there scarfing down their evening meals.  I can assure you the toddler who was so entertaining didn’t know or care about Teddy or Tom.  The bar also had a GREAT Margarita.  Perhaps the best we had the whole time we were there.  Certainly the best on that particular night.

Well, I’ve about worn out my welcome for the day, but it’s still not time to go see Fiesta Noche del Rio.  Come back next week for a tour of a few more Margaritas before the show.

2 thoughts on “The Alamo & Menger Bar”

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