Mayan-inspired bar Merkaba opening at former Swig location

by Jolene AlmendarezAugust 11, 2018

Merkaba, a Mayan-inspired bar, will take up residence at the former Swig Martini Bar spot at 111 W. Crockett St.

“It’s a new concept for us, something we haven't done before,” said Derek Langford, senior general manager at Howl of the Moon, which is opening the new bar.

Merkaba is a reference to the “vehicle” of ascension used to connect with higher realms.

“The reason we chose that name is because we wanted to use the ancient Mayan lore and kind of the folk story that surrounds it,” Langford said in an interview Tuesday.

Lighting that changes with music from a DJ booth, holograms on windows that mimic water features, films playing on walls, and strategic lighting to highlight aspects of the bar are all part of the experience.

The bar won’t necessarily serve craft cocktails, but it will have “elevated” drinks made with fresh ingredients inspired by flavors found in the Yucatán, Guatemala and Central America — including star anise, honey, mezcal, rum, and tequila.

One featured drink is the Flower of Life Paloma, a twist on the classic tequila-based cocktail, featuring Casa Noble Crystal Tequila, fresh lime juice, hibiscus syrup, grapefruit soda, and saline.

Merkaba is also teaming up with Paesanos, which primarily serves Italian food, to offer eats at the location.

He said the Aztec Theatre and nearby Casino Building, which was constructed with hieroglyph decor, inspired the bar’s theme.

The space is still under construction. Langford anticipates a late September or early October opening.

Featured photo by Jolene Almendarez | San Antonio Heron

Contact Jolene Almendarez: 210-550-0087 | | @jalmendarez57 on Twitter

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