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The University Star

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The University Star

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The University Star


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The Square: a cornerstone of SMTX entertainment

Mandalyn Lewallen
Freddy C’s Lounge and Patio Bar sits at the corner of the square on East Hopkins Street, Sunday, July 7, 2024.

The Square is home to some of the most unique and diverse bars in town, most of which have been there for decades. Each establishment boasts a unique story of how it climbed a ladder of popularity, weaving a history of bar culture reflecting the city’s ever evolving soul.

Since opening in 2018, Freddy C’s Lounge has established itself as a cornerstone of San Marcos’ vibrant nightlife, blending classic and cozy vibes.

“The lounge has always been old school,” Jamie Frailicks, owner of Freddy C’s Lounge said. “[It’s] not a sports bar, but we always have a sports game. [It’s] not a club but more like a comfortable place to sit and relax.”

As the nightlife scene in San Marcos continues to evolve, Frailicks believes the lounge has also continued to grow with the ever-changing bar scene.

“San Marcos and the university has grown immensely over the years, with that the crowds grow and so we that brings in a lot of traffic,” Frailicks said. “We have a lot of student staff, so we try to keep up with popular drinks patrons like as well as still trying to evolve with the new bar scene.”

Sophie and Jana Gallegos, two sisters and local community members, enjoy the vibrant bar culture on the Square. Their preferred bar atmospheres paint a picture of the Square’s versatility.

The Taproom, is known for its impressive beer selection and burgers, making it a favorite among locals and students. The Porch offers a relaxed atmosphere with live music, creating an inviting space to unwind with friends. Meanwhile, the Black Rabbit Saloon provides unique, funky vibes with expertly crafted cocktails, perfect for patrons.

Shade Rooftop Patio Bar offers a different experience with its stunning views of San Marcos, perfect for enjoying a drink while watching the sunset. Zelicks Icehouse, housed in a converted gas station, is celebrated for its laid-back atmosphere and welcoming outdoor sitting. Mayloo’s adds to the eclectic mix with its high energy vibes, a perfect spot for a night out on the Square.

For Sophie, The Black Rabbit Saloon holds a special charm to it, due to excellent customer service and the atmosphere of the bar itself.

“Not only is the staff there super nice but the bar is very chill, with many different aspects to it,” Sophie said. “You can either just sit and drink at the bar or go to the back of the bar to place some of the games they have there.”

Sophie also frequents two other bars that exemplify the Square’s bar culture for her. Chimy’s offers a relaxed atmosphere with budget friendly drinks, perfect for kicking back and catching up.

In contrast, The Vault boasts a high-energy vibe, ideal for letting loose and dancing the night away — Sophie’s preferred way to end an evening out.

“The Vault is always the place I go to if I feel like dancing,” Sophie said. “At The Vault, everyone is dancing, so you don’t feel like people are watching you.”

On the other hand, Jana enjoys going to Cats Billiards for a laid-back start to an evening out.

I like going to Cats because we can play pool or just sit and chat over a good beer and after nice game,” Jana said.

Beside The Vault, which is Sophie’s favorite high-energy bar, Jana believes Axis is where the majority of people go to let loose, have a great time and experience the infectious energy that defines a night on the Square.

“One of the most popular go-to bars is the Axis, where the most popular drink, the ‘Adios MF’ is at, and if you are confident enough, you can do karaoke there as well,” Jana said. “It’s a lot of fun to see people sing and just have a good time.”

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