Friday, May 4, 2012

37 Years and Still Honky Tonkin’

This weekend marks the 37th Anniversary of Gruene Hall being under the ownership of Pat Molak and Mary Jane Nalley! While reminiscing through old photos we have come to appreciate the history of Texas’ Oldest Dance Hall, even more. 
For many musicians, it is one of the great stages to play on – often the “vibe” or “feeling” of the Hall is described by those who love to play here, and the same is true for our patrons. Maybe it’s the history; most likely it’s the good times everyone is having and those lovely old wood floors that are so perfect for dancing on. Either way – there is definitely energy here – and it’s a good one. 

Gruene Hall is actually about 134 years old and we’ve dug out some super old photos to back that up – like this one. The Hall was the center of the town at the time and attracted some seriously cool cowboys, like “Mr. Mustache” leaning very casually on the bar.  ALSO – that pot belly stove you see on the bottom left – it’s still there. Pat and Mary Jane didn’t really change a whole lot when they bought Gruene Hall because frankly, it didn’t need it. Gruene Hall looks pretty much the same as it did back in the old days, just how we all like it. 

Speaking of liking Gruene Hall – here is a guy that LOVED IT. Frank Schlather pretty much came with the Hall when Pat bought it and was a fixture at Gruene Hall until he passed. He loved to dance with all the girls, and was always easy to spot with his big crunched up cowboy hat, bowed legs and big smile. Since he was so loved by all – we celebrate him every year on his birthday, June 23rd by offering ice cold beers for $0.50 from noon till 2pm at the Hall – just how Frank liked em’. 
Click here for more details about Frank and Frank Schlather Day at Gruene Hall -

This photo is of Gruene Hall back in the 20’s or 30’s – Anyone know what kind of car that is?
As you can see it used to be called “Gruene’s Hall” because Henry Gruene owned the joint then. 
See that building in the background? That is the Gristmill before it was, “The Gristmill River Restaurant and Bar.”  Still looks the same – rustic and rusty, perfect!

 This picture was taken of Gruene Hall before the road was paved… love those dirt roads. This was right about the time Pat and Mary Jane bought it, fixed what needed fixing and turned it into Legendary Gruene Hall. 

Today Gruene Hall looks like this – the wood bar, boot slick floors and hand carved tables – thanks to our loyal customers (y’all know who you are). Everyone that loves Gruene Hall loves that energy – the feeling you get when you walk in on a Saturday night and you came to see your favorite band – all of your friends are there waiting with a cold beer just for you. It’s hot – real hot – but the heat feels like a much needed hug from an old friend. So this weekend, come on over to the Hall and get that good ol’ feeling. Celebrate 37 years of Honky Tonkin with your friends at Gruene Hall!

No comments:

Post a Comment