When Jim Kiest of the San Antonio Express-News visited Hooligan’s Bar & Grill, he left with one important takeaway: “It is a great place to hang out when you’re not quite sure what you want to do. You’ll figure it out when you get there.” Kiest hit the nail on the head, given Hooligan’s eclectic collection of events and games. On any given night, a DJ might spin current hits for patrons to tap dance to or a cover band might storm the stage and pump out jams from the 1970s, ‘80s, or ‘90s. The music supplies a lively soundtrack for free rounds of poker, coin-operated pool games, an arsenal of darts and video games, and even dodge-ball matches.
Regardless of the ever-changing events schedule, patrons will always find three staples at Hooligan’s—food, drinks, and plenty of TVs. While watching Monday-night football or a UFC fight, bar-goers can munch mild to extra-hot wings, classic 8-ounce burgers, and individual pizzas, all washed down by domestic beers or fun cocktails such as cherry bombs and washington apples.
The interiors of The Lion & Rose pubs emulate the convivial atmosphere of British and Irish settings, with each corner of the restaurant ornamented with vintage wall sconces and handmade wood decor. The draught list overflows with imported pints such as Boddingtons and Smithwick's, while the menu includes unusual specialties such as chips and curry alongside shepherd's pie and bangers, mash, and beans. As befits a sports bar, locations boast plasma TVs tuned to the biggest games as well as dartboards where friends can challenge one another.
Nestled in the frondescence of a quaint pecan grove, Oma Gruene's Secret Garten welcomes diners to enjoy savory sandwiches and German specialties and absorb a festive garden ambience. Dining duos will kick-start meals with chips and salsa (a $4 value), a heaping pile of corn chips adorned with a spicy homemade salsa. Next, entrees can be chosen from a straightforward menu stocked with local ingredients, such as sausage from a neighborhood smokehouse showcased on the bratwurst plate (a $7.95 value) or in a kraut dog (a $6.95 value). Culinary architects erect turkey-and-swiss sandwiches (a $6.95 value) atop foundations of marble-rye bread, and a Reuben (a $6.95 value) demonstrates the dexterity of corned beef by getting served warm, cold, or mid-handspring. Sweet-teethed twosomes can finish feasts with palatable scoops of Blue Bell ice cream, and then wash down bites with a sweet soda deluge before using empty cups as maracas during impromptu limbo challenges.
Billy’s Ice slings cold drinks and no-frills fare in a casual, open-air atmosphere infused with the notes of live musicians every night of the week. Diners fuel up for shows—which never charge a cover for patrons 21 and older—with Billy’s burgers, served simply without unnecessary accouterments such as caviar or gold-infused mustard. A selection of appetizers includes favorites such as chicken wings and jalapeño poppers. Within the barn-style building and spacious open-air patio, revelers grab a bite, sip libations from the full bar, or gaze at the spot on the moon where Neil Armstrong first body-slammed Buzz Aldrin. Billy's slings eats from 4 p.m. to midnight Monday–Thursday, noon to midnight on Friday and Sunday, and noon to 1 a.m. on Saturday.
Rivercenter Comedy Club hosts well-established laugh conjurers and undiscovered comedic masterminds capable of leaving the 350-seat showroom doubled over in harmonized chuckles. Past Rivercenter audience-slayers include Carlos Mencia, Tommy Chong, Chris Rock, and Engelbert Humperdinck. This Groupon is good for a ticket to any show, so check the calendar for a show that sates your comedic taste buds. Once you’re settled into your seat or hammock, use the $5 food voucher toward any non-alcoholic menu item, each of which is specially prepared to fit precisely into a smiling mouth.
Amid GameTown Pizza's mélange of arcade consoles and analog challenges, chefs sculpt dough for New York–style pizzas and ensconce zesty ingredients within calzones and strombolis before baking them golden on sizzling pizza stones. The bustling game room challenges competitors to bouts of air hockey, basketball, and invigorating redemption games, whose ribbons of tickets garner well-earned trips to the prize counter. Party planners can host savory shindigs within the arcade's private party room, whose whimsical yellow walls display flat-screen TVs ideal for celebratory slideshows and virtual-reality birthday cakes alike.