Menger Hotel Bar, San Antonio, TX

The stars at night are big and bright
Deep in the heart of
The prairie sky is wide and high
Deep in the heart of

6:00 AM, sunroof open, 70 miles an hour, an deserted I-10 and, indeed, the stars were big and bright, none more so than Orion’s belt.  The fabulous Menger Hotel’s Bar, a replica of the House of Lords Pub in London, was my destination. San Antonio’s heart is anchored in Texas history and the Menger shares over a century and a half of that history. Located across a small street from The Alamo, the Menger Bar was one of the places Teddy Roosevelt recruited volunteers for his Rough Riders. Many authentic TR relics are displayed in the lobby, just outside the bar. My favorite is the guidon (a small flag) replete with bullet holes, carried by Joseph Beck, alongside Colonel Teddy Roosevelt up Kettle Hill on July 1, 1898, during the Spanish American War. The warmth of the polished cherry wood of the massive bar created the perfect place to enjoy a Maker’s Mark Bourbon, over ice, in this most authentic of western bars, and to make the very large moose head seem less intimidating!

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