Best Hotel Bar

Staff Pick


WINNER: Sternewirth

136 E. Grayson St. • (210) 448-8300

We know we're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but it's hard not to fall for Sternewirth's dazzle the minute you step into the space. Cloaked in Hotel Emma's signature scent and filled with supple leather couches and a collection of artwork and tchotchkes from yesteryear, Sternewirth (named for free workday beer San Antonio Brewing Company employees were allowed during their shift, or "the Sternewirth Privilege") sets the stage for high-class wind downs. The interiors, designed by Roman and Williams, a Manhattan-based firm, serve as the bucolic setting for bartenders in uniform chef's coats and dark jeans and cocktails the likes of The Three Emmas, a gin-based, booze-fueled drink based on an even juicier story of Otto Koehler, three, well, Emmas, illicit affairs and (cue the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit bong here) murder. The bar's opening menu was a hit with regulars, but expect a new rum-filled menu to land within the next few weeks. And don't make this a weekend hang either; you'll want to enjoy Sternewirth's every nook and cubby (the metal fermentation tanks that are now filled with cozy seating and innumerable throw pillows) on weekday afternoons when the relative calm of the boutique hotel and a cold cocktail in hand can help you soak in Emma's rich history.

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