Situated on San Antonio’s famous River Walk, the post-Prohibition saloon was popular among members of the Mexican Mafia, a group of street thugs who ran drug and prostitution rings out of the tavern—and even designated a loft in the back of the bar as a champagne room—between the 1970s and 2006, when The Esquire closed its doors. After a taking five years to clean up its image as a rough place with a rough crowd—the bar had metal detectors and sold shirts that said “I Survived The Esquire Tavern”—the watering hold reopened in 2011 with a new identity. Today, patrons at the now fully renovated venue enjoy vintage-inspired décor and traditional cocktails—sans stabbings, shootings, and bar fights.
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