If you know me even a little bit, you know that TBA is my favorite bar in the city. If someone was looking for me, chances are they could find me here for happy hour on Fridays (and other days TBH really). Jonny and I stumbled on to this place early on when it first opened and haven’t stopped coming here since. In fact, one of our best friends these days is a fellow TBA barfly (shoutout to Sean!). Why do we like this place so much? That’s easy- not only can you grab a great cocktail and some really good food- but it has a super laid back atmosphere with absolutely ZERO pretentiousness.
Don’t take this wrong, but chances are that if you’ve been out lately, you may have hit up one of those bars where the bartenders are “mixologists”, wear suspenders, old timey hats, and ironic handle bar mustaches. All the while- only serving one type of vodka and silently judging you when you order a Jack and Coke. On the flip side, what you get at TBA is those same craft cocktails made with fresh fruit and juices AND you can still order a Jack and Coke if you really want to without getting the side eye.
Do yourself a favor and don’t order a Jack and Coke though. TBA has a great house cocktail selection featuring some long standing drinks that have been on the menu from almost the beginning. Get adventurous and try out the Juan Collins, the South Flores, or the Rye n’ Gosling which are all cocktail menu staples here. Also, it doesn’t hurt at all that they are only $5 during happy hour that lasts until 8pm through out the week.
With all of that cocktail drinking, you’re bound to get hungry. No worries- TBA has snacks that will hit the spot. From their grilled cheese sandwiches (accompanied by some of the best pickled veggies I’ve ever had) to the cheese plate and hummus, everything is perfect to pair with what ever you happen to pick as your drink of choice. You won’t regret ordering the Westsider- it’s a grilled cheese sandwich made of Monterrey Jack and Barbacoa. Can you say “puro SA”?
The other great thing about TBA is that it is located on the St. Mary’s strip which has many other bar and restaurant options in walking distance. Located in the space formally known as Salute, the outside is mostly non-descript without big signs and lights. If you need another landmark, you can find TBA across the street from Hardbodies (don’t even act like you don’t know where Hardbodies is). Have a drink at TBA and then take a walk down the street to change it up.
The Westsider w/ pickles
Pro-tip #1: Don’t show up here expecting to order a Bud Light or Miller Light because they don’t serve those beers here and you should consider that a good thing. TBA has a huge canned and bottled beer selection to choose from. Instead of asking the bartenders “what beers do you have?”, walk to the left of the bar and take a look for yourself. I’m sure you’ll find something you like already- otherwise, don’t hesitate to ask for a recommendation based on what you already like.
Pro-tip #2: If you don’t frequent the St. Mary’s strip, you may not know that parking can become a nightmare as the night goes on. Get there early to grab a spot directly behind the bar or on the street. Or just Uber it.
This is a great spot for a casual first date, a work happy hour, or just to have a few drinks with some friends or homeboys. Stop by and say hi to Miller, Evan, Peyton, and Haley.
Look for them on Facebook and at http://tbasatx.com