Snapshot: Chisme is among the latest additions to the constantly evolving St. Mary’s Strip, and it’s a welcome one, anchoring the southern end of the street in what was once the Teka Molino restaurant. Chisme (Spanish for gossip, in case you’re from out of town) is more restaurant than bar, with full wait service available inside and on the generously sized outdoor patio. But the vibe is perfect for after work and weekend drinks and snacks. If waiting for a table isn’t your thing, there is a large bar on the patio and a smaller one inside, where you’re welcome to drink and eat. Both bars are outfitted with TVs that were airing sports the night I visited.
Who goes there? A diverse, boisterous crowd of young and older patrons. Chisme would fit right in one of Austin’s trendy neighborhoods but you don’t have to dress up to go - it’s still San Antonio.
Behind the bar: Full bar, including specialty cocktails and a wide range of tequilas and mezcal. The Maracuja Mule is made with the house passion fruit ginger beer. Particularly boozy is La Pistola, made with Tequila Reposado, Bittermans Coffee Liqueur, Eldorado 5 year rum, piloncillo syrup and orange bitters. A bonus — you can order one of Chisme’s house-made aguas frescas and pair them with any liquor of your choice. Happy Hour, 4-6 p.m. daily (huzzah!), features $3 draft pints and $5 aguas frescas, frozen margaritas, Maracuja Mules, Micheladas, red and white wine and Champagne.
Address: 2403 N. St. Mary’s St.
Hours:4 p.m.-11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 4 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday-Saturday; Brunch is 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
Cost/noise: Medium to high for both
Munchies: Chisme offers full dinner service (tacos, big plates, mariscos, deserts, etc.) and a big weekend brunch menu, plus great appetizers. I tried both the chile con queso (nice kick, not too hot) and the queso con chisme (barbecue, refried beans, guacamole and cilantro). My pants may have fit less well after I devoured these starters, but I regret nothing. Food is served until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, which is a huge plus on the Strip.
Soundtrack: Dwight Yoakam, Texas Tornados, conjunto and a lot of soul were playing during my visit, so what’s not to like?
The skinny: A fun restaurant and bar that straddles the line between after-work happy-hour spot and relaxed dinner option, with a large variety of good drinks and food.
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