Gruene Hall Survival Guide

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

Jennifer McKenzie Frazier
Gruene Hall Survival Guide
Courtesy of Dirck Hallstead

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