Apr 14, 2023 - Food and Drink

First look: The Bunker Mixology opens in downtown San Antonio

A dimly lit bar with classic paintings covering the walls.

The Bunker Mixology is like a swanky art museum with a laser show. Photo: Madalyn Mendoza/Axios

A new cocktail experience tucked below downtown is a work of art.

What's happening: The Bunker Mixology is celebrating its grand opening Friday night in a basement spot on East Houston, underneath The Palm.

  • It's owned by Gusto Group, the local hospitality group behind Cuishe Cocina Mexicana, Toro Kitchen + Bar and Cellar Mixology.

My first impression of The Bunker felt as if I was invited into an intimate art exhibit. A 1920s Vauxhall greets guests before entering a vault-like door that opens to the main bar decorated with replicas of classic art pieces.

  • The menu reads like an art museum guide, starting with the High Renaissance era with a drink inspired by Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi and ending with Jean-Michel Basquiat's 1982 Untitled piece.
A white-colored cocktail with a menu.
My drink order: the Portrait of Dr. Gachet. Photo: Madalyn Mendoza/Axios

Yes, but: It's not all Gatsby-like. Expect eye-grabbing light shows. A laser light beams down from the ceiling over the bar to give the mixology presentation extra razzle dazzle.

  • Two bar areas are divided by a curtain of red laser lights.
  • If you need to use the restroom, you might walk into an impromptu photo shoot. The hallway leading there is a tunnel of neon lights that's begging for an Instagram post.

What we're watching: Gusto Group is also working on a concept called Stylus Mixology, according to its website.

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