Monday, July 2, 2018

The Historic Gristmill River Restaurant and Bar

The Gristmill: Then & Now

Situated on a bluff overlooking the Guadalupe River, this spectacular restaurant nestled under the shade of towering oak trees has been the perfect getaway for a unique casual dining experience for over forty years.

Situated on the banks of the Guadalupe River in New Braunfels between Austin and San Antonio, the Gruene cotton gin processed crops raised by area farmers until the wooden structure burned to the ground in 1922 leaving only the brick boiler room. All that remains of the water-powered mill today is that three-story brick boiler room – now the Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar.

The cotton gin- Gruene, Texas

Located in the historic district of Gruene just beneath the famous Gruene water tower, The Gristmill opened in 1977, serving steaks and hamburgers from a tiny kitchen in the corner of the building. The multi-level restaurant features outdoor and indoor dining with sweeping views of the river, special dining rooms with native stone fireplaces, an indoor bar with waiting area and wood burning stove, a relaxing beer garden and a merchandise store.  The River Grove, added in 1998, is a refreshing open air, bricked patio nestled in a grove of trees overlooking the river.

Scenic Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar - Gruene, Texas

Today, while the menu still features thick steaks and large hamburgers, they also serve up popular South Texas Favorites like chicken fried steak, fried catfish, grilled chicken, enormous sandwiches, fresh fish and off menu daily specials. 

House specials at the Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar in Gruene, Texas

And if you’re not stuffed from your meal, or if you decide to save room, their desserts are AMAZING! Fudge pie, Texas-sized strawberry shortcake, German chocolate cake, and their signature Jack Daniel’s Pecan Pie are some of their most popular.

Jack Daniels Pecan Pie- Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar in Gruene, Texas

Not only do they have delicious food, they also offer a full bar complete with fresh margaritas and frozen sangria. Some of their most popular drinks including the Perfect Patron Margarita and Grizzly Sangria. They even have live music in the beer garden most weekends! Check out this month's lineup here.  

Specialty drinks- Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar in Gruene, Texas

In recent years The Gristmill has played host to many familiar faces including John Travolta, Robert Duvall, Rob van Winkle (aka Vanilla Ice), Tiffani Amber Thiessen of 90210 and Saved by the Bell, Erik McCormack of Will & Grace, Sherman Hemsley of The Jeffersons, Lou Diamond Phillips, Mary Lou Retton and Dan Rather.

The Gristmill has also served several notable politicians including former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, former Texas Governer Ann Richards, Texas Governor Rick Perry, U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Notable sports figures include the San Antonio SPURS, former head coach of the 49ers Bill Walsh and former UT coach Darrell Royal, and the Gristmill provided food for the X Games at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Last but not least, countless music artists have been guests at the Gristmill including George Strait, Rodney Crowell, Miranda Lambert, Evan Felker or Turnpike Troubadours, John Hiatt, Pat Green, Bruce Robison, Cody Canada, Robert Earl Keen, Aaron Neville, Joe Ely, Lyle Lovett, The Smashing Pumpkins, Evanescence, Kacey Musgraves, Midland and Maren Morris.

Next time you're in Gruene, you have to stop by and have dinner and drinks! It's the quintessential Texas Hill Country dining experience.

For more info and a full menu, visit

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