Ten Favorite Hill Country Venues
Ask 10 Hill Country regulars where they most like to play, and you'll get 10 different answers. At least that's what we got when we asked Shelley King, Django Walker, and the Cosmic Dust Devils their favorite places to entertain audiences.
Cheatham Street Warehouse (119 Cheatham St., San Marcos; 512/353-3777): George Strait got his start at this venerable San Marcos venue, which has held its popularity for over three decades.
Freiheit Country Store (2157 FM 1101, New Braunfels; 830/625-9400): Technically this is neither a venue or in the Hill Country, but it is five minutes across I-35 from Gruene and features the Humble Time Radio Show, broadcast from inside the store/restaurant.
Gruene Hall (1281 Gruene Rd., New Braunfels; 830/606-1281, 830/629-5077): "The granddaddy of Texas dance halls" is at the top of the list. Players praise the enthusiastic audiences who buy, buy, buy from the merchandise tables.
John T. Floore Country Store (14464 Bandera Rd., Helotes; 210/695-8827): Another popular venue with history, located just outside San Antonio, this was one of Doug Sahm's favorite places to play.
Luckenbach Dance Hall (either FM or RR 1376, Luckenbach, 830/997-3224; 888/311-8990): A landmark in Texas' music pantheon, Luckenbach is a family-oriented dance hall. We dare you not to sing That Song.
Ol' Waterin' Hole (1109 Broadway, Kerrville; 830/257-4653): High marks from everyone for this popular venue, a fixture for the last six years for Kerrverts and Austin refugees alike.
Poodie's Hilltop Bar (22308 Hwy. 71 W., Spicewood; 512/264-0318): Close to Austin, but far enough away to feel like you're out of town. Bring quarters for the jukebox.
River Road Ice House (1791 Hueco Springs Loop, New Braunfels; 830/626-1335): Popular with Austin bands and an easy stop if you're headed to Gruene.
Too Damn Friendly Bar (106 N. Nugent, Johnson City; 830/868-2347): Aka the Friendly Bar, for those who don't cuss. Its Tuesday night scene is mentioned favorably.
Wild Horse Grille (201 Main, Marble Falls; 830/798-0717): The Wild Horse also gets good marks, especially for its outdoor patio stage.