Gruene Hall Survival Guide

Everything you need to know before stepping into this Texas dance hall.
Jennifer McKenzie Frazier

Best time to go:
This isn’t the kind of joint where you make reservations. Check out the Web site to see who's performing. When Merle Haggard plays, it's a packed concert hall. When some up-and-comer hits the stage, the dance floor is all yours. On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, the hall becomes the local watering hole.

What to order:
A cold Shiner Bock from the Spoetzl Brewery, an hour and a half away. If you’re hungry, scoot across the street to Mozie’s (moziesbarandgrill.com) for sliders, hot dogs with jalapeño mustard, and chips with fresh-made salsa.

What to wear:
You won’t feel out of place if you’re sporting Wrangler jeans, a Western shirt, cowboy boots, cowboy hat, and the biggest belt buckle you can find. Pat Molak, who’s owned the place since 1975, says, “Anything goes here. A cowboy with his hat and boots fits in with casual people in flip-flops and shorts.”

The dance to know:
The Texas two-step is still the big mama. “People will two-step to any music,” says Pat. Maybe it’s the magic of the worn-in floors that are covered in fresh cornmeal; you’ll slide like you were on ice.

What’s playing:
You won’t hear any rap or hard-core metal here. But some blues, Americana, and pop sneaks in with the country that put Gruene on the map.

Songs to memorize:
Classics are classic for a reason. Learn the words to Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson’s “Luckenbach, Texas,” and George Strait’s “The Chair” and “Amarillo By Morning” to make sure you’re covered.

1281 Gruene Road; gruenehall.com or 830-606-1281