Reviews

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sir Winston's

Sir Winston's is yet another neighborhood bar. I can't quite remember who it was that first dragged me into this joint (Carlos? Matthew? VodkaSoda? Mrs. SgtCody?) but I'm glad they did. From the outside it doesn't look like a place one should enter unarmed but once you get past the blinding, western-facing, silver reflective tinted glass that stretches across the storefront it's not a bad place for a drink. The lighting is just right, bar seating is plentiful, they have wireless internet access and even a desktop computer (not sure if this is for general use but I did see patrons using it).
This is a jukebox bar at it's finest. They have a couple of pool tables, several dart boards, and even shuffleboard. There are several TVs above the U-shaped bar usually tuned in to sports or news.
The clintele is similar to that of CB's or Alibi's during happy hour mostly consisting of 30-something, blue collar types.
The cocktails at Sir Winston's are VERY STRONG. Almost as strong as CB's and almost as cheap. They have several beers on tap including Guinness and Bass for Black & Tans. Oh, and if there is a liquor that you normally shoot cold, it's likely Sir Winston's has it already loaded in one of those chiller taps (you know, like the Jägermeister machines). I didn't really notice if they have wine though I'm sure they do as their liquor and beer selection is excellent.
There is no food available here so you may want to grab a bite before you go because, as I said before, the drinks are pretty stiff.
The staff.... don't get me wrong, I like every bartender I have met at Sir Winston's (though I LOVE Amber). There's always the ubiquitous HCWBMA. However they can be mistaken for patrons because they regularly venture out from behind the bar to visit with regulars. While I like this sort of thing it can slow down service and y'all know how I hate when my glass runs dry.
One bizarre little quirk... Sir Winston's has three ladies rooms and only one mens room. Do women really pee three times more than men? (Mrs. SgtCody says "yes they do" but I sincerely doubt it) Too, the mens room is kinda funky, like use your foot to flush and wash with a moist towelette funky.
Anyhoo... Sir Winston's is another world-class dive that I whole-heartedly recommend to any drunkard from novice to expert. Ask for Amber, tell her SgtCody says "hi", and tip her well.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have been a "client" of Winston's for many many years, even prior to the move to it's present location. While the move allowed for more room in the bar, it also "suffered" because it lost it's ambiance. As far as the bartenders go, Winston's had a history of having very friendly, out-going and attractive female bartenders. That all pretty much came to an end when Amber (the worst tender ever to work at Winston's) was hired...she had been just another customer, with no bar tending experience( and it showed in her drinks and service) Once she was made "manager", one by one, Winston's lost all those friendly tenders it had been known for. With exception of maybe one of the bartenders there now, the rest are cliquish, slow to serve, and pour weak drinks. Also, be careful to pay close attention to your bar tab if you don't pay as you go, a couple of the bartenders there ( Amber was one) are known for their habit of "padding" bar tabs,or charging someone else's drinks to your tab and have been caught on many occasions. While Winston's was never a big draw for single women, it used to at least have a few that would come in on a regular basis, but not any longer. Most of the women I have talked to about Winston's say they don't like going there because it's dirty,(I don't believe the carpet has been cleaned since it was installed 7-8 years ago) and despite having smoke eaters, always smoky. One other thing a prospective customer should keep in mind...there is a not-so-underground drug trade going on there...a steady stream of people going to the unused women's bathrooms to do cocaine that is easily purchased from "regulars" in the bar. Honestly, it breaks my heart to see what was once a fun place to go to turn into the sort of place it is now. One good thing now is that Amber no longer works there, and maybe that means a return to the Winston's of old...

SgtCody said...

Wow, now there's a different take! I can dig, as it says in my profile, I'm a happy hour guy and most bars change pretty dramatically once I'm already passed out on the couch. Thanks for posting, I'll edit if my experiences change.

Anonymous said...

to anonymous: go back to Sherlock's or whatever preppy waste-of-space bar you usually go to. By definition dive bars are a little seedy - so a little rec drug use finds it's way into an adult situation - SHOCKING! Grow up and stop sitting on the floor! You probably work over at Mad Dog's.

Although I would like to take credit for introducing Sgtcody to Winston's, it's kind of like the whole "who discovered the Americas first" debate. It's such a great place, you were bound to stumble upon it eventually if you ventured outside your regular haunts.
Signed, CARLOS

SgtCody said...

I swear... of all the joints to kick off a flame war...

Anonymous said...

While I respect SgtCody's take on the place, it doesn't give the "real picture" of what Winston's has become. As I said in my first comment, I've been a customer of Winston's for many,many years, around 20 to be more precise. My point is that Winston's wasn't always a "dive" as it is now, it was once a friendly neighborhood bar with a good mix of people. My post is not about flaming the place, but it is about the decline of what once was a decent bar to hang out at. Even someone as myopic as you Carlos should be able to see the major change in clientèle at Sir's over the last 5 or 6 years, and that change is not one for the better. There are countless numbers of old regulars that don't go there anymore, simply because of the decline. For crying out loud, the men's restroom became more like a sewer, smelling of urine and vomit so bad that many guys would opt to wait for a woman's restroom to open up. The female bartenders didn't feel it was their job to clean the men's room, and really, I didn't blame them. At one time it was so bad that the metal on the wall behind the urinals was rusting out because of all the piss on it.
Also, I've seen and heard some really stupid comments before, but for Carlos to say "By definition dive bars are a little seedy - so a little rec drug use finds it's way into an adult situation - SHOCKING!" is the most ignorant thing I've seen in a long while. I guess Carlos feels that if a bar doesn't cater to a "higher class" of drunks,(Sherlock's I believe he mentioned) it's OKAY for drugs to abound. Keep in mind that cocaine is a hard core drug, and not only are these drugs illegal, but where drugs go, trouble follows. It's just a matter of time before someone, maybe an innocent bystander gets shot because of some drug dealing gone bad... AND, by the way, it's not a "little rec drug use" that occurs there, like people stepping out to smoke weed, it is a major cocaine drug trade. So major in fact that TABC and ATF came into the place a year or so ago and not only questioned the owner and Amber, but searched the place as well.The police keep an eye on the place and recently one of the cocaine suppliers was busted coming out of Winston's. With Carlos's attack on me, and defense of the drug use, it wouldn't surprise me in the least to find that he is one of the many very familiar with the alternate use of the women's bathrooms. Sorry Carlos, I just call it as I see it.

Yes, there are still some great things about Winston's, and George has done some things to improve the place...somewhat...but there is a lot more that needs to be done to bring the place back to it's former glory, rather than just a place for drug hounds and barflys like Carlos to hang out with blinders on. This is a northside bar...if you are more comfortable hanging in a place where more drugs are sold than drinks, go visit the south and west side bars...You'll feel at home.
Signed James

SgtCody said...

Thank you James for your well thought out reply. I too have seen the decay of a few of my favorite haunts and felt much as you do in this case. However keep in mind that your love for the Sir's of old may make the bad things seem that much worse to you.
I would appreciate it if the two of you would refrain from the personal insults in the comments section.
As for my review, it will stand until I get the time to look at Sir's evening attributes. My reviews are very simple snapshots of bars usually during happy hour.

vodkasoda said...

Alright James this seems the slightest bit obsessive. It might be healthier for you to find a nice place you like and maybe even ask SgtCody to review that... Hopefully he will agree with you :).
cheers...

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you feel my comments on Winston's are "obsessive", personally, I just felt a truer view was due, no disrespect to Sgt Cody intended. His review may be true for the happy hour crowd, but not for the nighttime. Having been a resident( north, north west, north central and north east) of San Antonio since 1970, I too have been to the majority of the bars SgtCody reviews, and for the most part agree with those reviews. Winston's was the only one not truly represented. It's just a real shame that because someone has a deeper and different view, and choses to state it, he is called names, told he seems a bit obsessive and might be unhealthy. If you don't agree with what I've said, then so be it, we can agree to disagree. I just spoke to my experience with this particular bar over the last 20 years. Each and every person who goes into one of these places will have a different take, and please, just because you don't agree, it doesn't make that person untruthful, unstable or unhealthy.

Thanks for the forum SGT, and for your openness in posting my seemingly "unpopular" comments.
Signed James

Anonymous said...

seriously? ive been going to winstons for years (before i could legally do so), and i had no idea about this cocaine thing. im gonna have to keep an eye out