Friday, November 15, 2019

The Willie Door

A true German-style dance hall, Gruene Hall is the classically simple structure: a long building, doors at one end, stage at the other, open-air side flaps along the walls in between the two. A no-frills structure built for one simple thing: pile in and have a good time! Not just a dance hall, the spacious building has always served as the social center of the community hosting everything from official meetings and friendly gatherings to birthday parties and badger fights.

This straightforward layout means everyone would enter at the front of the building and musicians are no exception. (There wasn't another option because there is no "backstage door" or green room in an 1878 dance hall!) The artists meander through the crowd on the dance floor, making their way to the stage at the rear of the building. Like so many things in the music industry, all that changed with Willie Nelson.

In 1998, Willie was scheduled to play Gruene Hall for a flood relief benefit concert. That night, the house was packed, showing no clear path through which made Willie a little nervous. They had to figure out another way to get him to the stage. With a spontaneous stroke of brilliance, the window flap next to the stage was opened, chicken wire cut, and make-shift stairs were pushed against the building. He climbed in through the window and The Willie Door was born!

Getting the invitation to use the Willie Door is seen as a symbolic right of passage. For some artists, even after getting the nod, they won't use the Willie Door out of reverence for the iconic star. It's one of the many things that adds to Gruene Hall's iconic history.

Friday, November 8, 2019

2019 Best of New Braunfels

The 33rd annual Herald-Zeitung's Reader's Choice awards came up Gruene this year! 

Best Margarita

Frozen or rocked, a Cantina del Rio margarita is exactly what you want when you're craving a margarita. Don't believe me? The proof is in the pudding…I mean, tequila. It's been voted Best Margarita in New Braunfels every year since 2012! When you set the standard, you better bring it on…and these do!

Best Patio

Housed in the bones of an old cotton gin, the Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar is charmingly historic but the patio really takes the iconic restaurant over the top. Tucked in the trees on the bluff overlooking the Guadalupe River where thousands of tubers float by every summer, it's a breathtaking juxtaposition to be surrounded by nature but also "in" a restaurant. It's really something special, making it the Best Patio in New Braunfels.

Best Chicken Fried Steak

There's good chicken fried steak, then there's the BEST chicken fried steak. Voted the Best Chicken Fried Steak in New Braunfels, the Gristmill serves it up crispy on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside, flavor all around. The only thing you should be worried about is how much gravy you'll need!

Best Attraction

It isn't a big, flashy building. But, waiting at the end of the street, Gruene Hall will pull you in like a magnet. Whether you're looking for history (it's over 100 years old), music (that stage is a right of passage for many musicians) or just a cold beer (and signature sangria!), it is everything you think it should be…and more! With so much history, it's no wonder the oldest dance hall in Texas was voted Best Attraction in New Braunfels.

Best Live Music Venue

Cold beer? Check. Seasoned dance floor? Check. Legendary musicians? Check. The Gruene Hall stage has hosted everything from superstars to up-n-comers, from country to rock, from solo artists to full bands. Every spot in the house feels like the front row, creating a genuine intimacy between audience and performer. With a growing number of new music venues in the area, being voted Best Live Music Venue in New Braunfels is definitely a tip of the hat to the one that started it all.

Best Place to Dance

Is there any doubt? The floor boards at Gruene Hall are the same boards laid when the dance hall was built in 1878. With over 140 years of dancing and stomping, every shoe has left its mark. In the beautiful old wood, you can see all the soles, and all the soul. To dance on that floor really is something special.

Best Sliders

Have you ever had a hamburger so good, you wished you had another…and then maybe another? Mozie's knows! Order the Best Sliders in New Braunfels, and you get 3! Soft bun, juicy patty, melty cheese. Times 3.

Best Hill Country Day Trip

In a region so abundant in natural beauty, cultural richness, and day trip-worthy destinations, it's an honor for Gruene Historic District to be named Best Hill Country Day Trip out of them all! Whether you're looking for food, wine, shopping, music, or just plain "taking it easy" floating the river, there truly is something for everyone here.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Playlist: November on the Gruene Hall Stage

November is here and it brings a TON of great music to the Gruene Hall stage! Hear from favorites like Jason Boland & the Stragglers, Drive-By Truckers, Wade Bowen, Cory Morrow,  and more. View the full calendar and start planning!

For a mix of the November Shows at Gruene Hall, check out this playlist >>


12 Simple German Phrases for Wurstfest

    Wurstfest in New Braunfels started 58 years ago and continues to be an iconic celebration of German food, drink, music, and culture. Here in Gruene, we are proud of our German roots and love being so close to the festival happenings. If you are heading to Wurstfest, here are some easy German phrases to try out when you get there!

Explore the food and drink!

Ich habe Hunger!
(I am hungry!)

Möchtest du eine Wurst?
(Would you like a sausage?)

Ich habe Durst! 
(I am thirsty!)

Möchtest du ein Bier?
(Would you like a beer?)

Wo kann ich Essen kaufen?
(Where can I buy food?)

Ready to join in on the fun?

Ich liebe die Musik!
(I love the music!)

Willst du Tanzen 
(Want to dance?)

Gehen wir! 
(Let's go!)

Hast du eine gute Zeit?
(Are you having a good time?)


Time to go home?

Wo ist der Wurst Wagen? 
(Where is the Wurst Wagen?)

(Bye!) This is a casual goodbye for when you are among friends, and at Wurstfest that's exactly where you are!