“I’ve met a lot of good people and made a lot of great friends,” says Arturo Torres III, owner of Pub Run San Antonio. For the uninitiated: No, you do not have to run. “It’s a walking tour of the bars of Downtown San Antonio,” Arturo explains.
Pub Run San Antonio takes place on the First Friday of every month, each time with a different theme. For example, runners gathered just this past Friday to celebrate Star Wars Day or “May the 4th be with you.”
These themes are a way for people to meet and interact, according to Arturo. “They’ll see other people with the same love for Star Wars,” he explains. “You can make longtime friends. I’ve met a lot of people being involved with Pub Run.”
Pub Run San Antonio particpants dress in Star Wars costumes in celebration of "May the 4th be with you." Michael Cirlos / Centro San Antonio
Themes can carry over from year to year (e.g. Halloween theme in October) or vary from time to time in order to compliment trending topics (e.g. Game of Thrones Bar Crawl on May 18th). The path currently consists of twelve downtown bars and establishments, starting at Moses Roses at 7:00 p.m. and ending at The Bonham Exchange.
Pub Run San Antonio Owner Arturo Torres III poses for a portrait on Houston Street. Michael Cirlos / Centro San Antonio
Arturo is a lifelong entrepreneur whose passion is organizing social events, specifically bar crawls as well as 5k and 10k races. He acquired Pub Run San Antonio four years ago from his good friend and racing buddy Edgar Gonzalez. Edgar started Pub Run as an informal gathering of friends and (yes) it originally involved running from place to place.
Attending all but two Pub Run’s in the four years he has managed the event, Arturo has seen it all. Needless to say, he has tips and tricks for those looking to join in on the First Friday fun.
1. Arrive Early.
Yeah Yeah, we sound like your dad’s philosophy on getting to the airport, but it’s true! For first timers, sticking with the initial group is a good strategy to stay on track and learn the ropes. Plus, during the first few hours of Pub Run, the bars waive their cover charge. (Bonham Exchange waives theirs all night.)
Pub Run San Antonio particpants arrive at Ticket Sports Bar on Houston Street. Michael Cirlos / Centro San Antonio
2. Dress in Theme
No one likes a spoilsport. Don’t be afraid of looking silly, everyone’s doing it! And what about all those perks that come with Pub Run like the waived cover charge? They don’t apply if you’re not in costume.
A San Antonio Pub Run participant as a Storm Trooper shares a drink with friends. Michael Cirlos / Centro San Antonio
3. Take Advantage of Pub Run Perks
While each bar has its own way of celebrating Pub Run, count on most to offer drink specials, some of which are inspired by the theme of the month. A relatively new perk was introduced when a new bar joined the lineup: Merkaba. If you are part of the Pub Run and dressed in theme, you not only get FREE access to Merkaba, but Howl at The Moon as well!
San Antonio Pub Run participants take advantage of the drink specials. Michael Cirlos / Centro San Antonio
Arturo remembers a runner who created an algorithm which determined how and when he should consume water, beer, and liquor to make sure he could make it as far as possible on the trek. We don’t expect you to create equations, so just remember to pace yourself, drink plenty of water, and always drink responsibly!
San Antonio Pub Run participants dance at Moses Roses. Michael Cirlos / Centro San Antonio
5. Follow Social Media
Arturo regularly updates the Facebook Event with the group’s progress so you can join in even if you are running late. Another benefit of being active and following Pub Run on social media is having a voice in choosing themes. For example, the recent Star Wars Pub Run was chosen by an audience on a Facebook Poll. It never hurts to get social.
San Antonio Pub Run participants capture a group selfie at the Ticket Sports Bar on Houston Street. Michael Cirlos / Centro San Antonio
6. Make It Multi-Model
With Rideshare and increased frequency on VIA routes, there is no excuse not to travel to and from Pub Run conveniently and responsibly.
San Antonio Pub Run participants make their way to the next bar on Houston Street. Michael Cirlos / Centro San Antonio
7. Don’t Drink If You Don’t Want To.
It sounds counter-intuitive, but Arturo assures us that it’s not necessary to drink to enjoy Pub Run. Because it is a social event with themed costumes, there’s plenty to enjoy about the interpersonal aspects of the night without consuming alcohol. “It’s a friendly environment,” explains Arturo, “No running. Just fun.”
Pub Run San Antonio particpants dress in Star Wars costumes at Moses Roses. Michael Cirlos / Centro San Antonio
How did we do? Do you have your own Pub Run tips and tricks? Let us know by sharing this story with your comments and tagging us at @downtownsatx