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Five Historic Honky-Tonks in Texas

Billy Minick, Don Gay and Gary Leffew at Billy Bob's in Fort Worth, Texas

When in Texas you’ve got to put on your boots and go to some honky-tonks for some boot-scootin! Texas is home to some of the world’s most famous and longest-operating honky-tonks that are an absolute must-visit. Here are five of the best Texas honky-tonks that are more than just a dance hall and will leave you with the best, most memorable experience of your life!

Gruene Hall

This is one of Texas’ oldest and most famous dance halls in Gruene, Texas that was built in 1878. It’s still in operation ever since its inception, and not much has changed about Gruene Hall in terms of design and appearance. The original layout of the hall is still quite intact, with a high-pitched tin roof and side flaps for open-air dancing. It has become an internationally recognized tourist destination over the years and is also often utilized as a music venue for both budding and established artists. Numerous popular country artists have performed at this honky-tonk in Texas, such as George Strait, Garth Brooks, The Dixie Chicks, Midland, Willie Nelson, Lee Ann Womack, Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert, and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, to name a few.

Gruene Hall in Gruene, Texas

John T. Floore Country Store

This is another one of the oldest operating honky-tonks located in Helotes, Texas near San Antonio that has hosted so many music legends for over seventy-five years. This quintessential honky-tonk was built in 1942 by Mr. John T. Floore, who is also the owner of this hall. It’s interesting to note here that John T. Floore Country Store wasn’t really a store, as the name might suggest. It was actually a unique dance hall and café in Texas. It eventually became super popular all across the globe for its amazing tamales and homemade bread.

Many legendary performers have performed here, such as Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, Waylon Jennings, Dwight Yoakam, Elvis Presley, George Jones, Robert Earl Keen, and many others. Speaking of famous artists, John T. Floore Country Store is where Willie Nelson’s career of being a famous country artist took off. Many people refer to it as the musical “birthplace” of this artist. Willie Nelson also featured John T. Floore in his famous hit, “Shotgun Willie,” and both of them even became partners in the original Willie Nelson Music Company.

John T. Floore Country Store in Helotes, Texas

Billy Bob’s of Texas

Built in 1910, Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth, Texas, originally functioned as an open-air barn where the Fort Worth Stock Show was held to house prize cattle. Later in 1936, the structure was renewed with an auction ring and livestock halls. During World War II, it was utilized as an airplane factory, and then later in the 1950s, the building was transformed into a huge department store. 

Finally, in 1981, Billy Bob’s Texas came into existence featuring a massive entertainment center and had more than 30 bar stations. This generated national attention, after which this honky-tonk also hosted some of the biggest music stars from the industry, such as George Strait, Alabama, and ZZ Top. Eventually, Billy Bob’s became to be known as “The World’s Largest Honky Tonk”!

Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth, Texas

Broken Spoke

Internationally known as one of the most authentic honky-tonks, Broken Spoke in Austin, Texas, is your go-to place for the Texas two-steppin’. So many amazing stars from the music industry have performed at this famous dance hall, Willie Nelson, George Strait, and Dolly Parton. It has been operating since 1964, and its incredible owners James and Annetta have made great efforts to boost its reputation as the ultimate place for the best country live music. From two-step lessons, private parties, to exclusive dinners followed by performances and shows, Broken Spoke has a lot to offer to you!

Broken Spoke in Austin, Texas

Schroeder Hall

This is the second-oldest dance hall located in Goliad, Texas and has hosted generations of Texans ever since 1890. With delicious food, excellent music, and the area’s most spectacular dance floor, Schroeder Hall has done great justice to its reputation. Ever since it was built, this honky-tonk has attracted and hosted some of the most legendary figures from country music such as Merle Haggard, Tracy Byrd, Willie Nelson, George Jones, Kyle Park, Charley Pride, and so many others!

Schroeder Hall in Goliad, Texas

CLN Community & Event Sponsor

Hi I'm Megan deFabry, I'm originally from South Lake Tahoe, California and I grew up in Reno, Nevada. I now live in San Marcos, Texas! I have a passion for all things country especially rodeos and country music!

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