"This part of history was on the verge of being lost forever."

By Meghan Overdeep
Dallas Texas Longhorn Ballroom
Credit: Thomas Garza Photography

Dallas' historic Longhorn Ballroom has seen it all. In the 1960s and 70s it hosted a who's-who of music icons—from Merle Haggard and B.B. King to Patsy Cline and the Sex Pistols—and for an entire generation of North Texans, it was the place to be.

But after changing hands a few times, the legendary venue was all but abandoned by the mid 90s. The landmark was destined to be bulldozed and forgotten until Dallas-based entrepreneur, Jay LaFrance and his family purchased it in February of 2017. The LaFrances were determined to preserve the space and restore it to its former glory.

"Restoring the Longhorn Ballroom is very important to me personally. I have a strong love for music and I have a love for history and those individuals that have gone before us. It is rare that you can make a positive impact on history," LaFrance said in a release.

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From the original wooden dance floor to the vintage neon signs, LaFrance and his daughter Amber painstakingly restored every inch of the Longhorn Ballroom. Even the iconic bar-shaped sign that blew down over a decade ago (and has a landmark status with the city of Dallas) has been brought lovingly back to life.

"By restoring the Ballroom, I have done my job in keeping history alive for generations to come. This part of history was on the verge of being lost forever. It had been forgotten over the years but wasn't lost yet," LaFrance continued. "If I hadn't of bought it, it would have been torn down and replaced with apartments and other retail spaces. The antique neon, the handprints in the concrete of music legends, the stage that musical greats of all genres have played on, reel-to-reel recordings, vinyl records, autographed photos, would all be in a landfill somewhere, never to be seen again."

Now, Longhorn Ballroom is back and open for business, and the LaFrances are eager to make new history within its hallowed walls. "We look forward to fostering new and upcoming talent on its stage," said Amber.

And we look forward to getting our two-step on!

For more information and to book an event, visit LonghornBallroom.com.