Gruene

On the banks of the Guadalupe, this historic town is a fly-fisherman’s paradise by day and a two-stepper’s dream by night.
Gruene
Gruene Hall
Photograph by Adam Voorhes

1. Alibi Boutique

Gruene’s unofficial motto may be “Gently Resisting Change Since 1872,” but a new(ish) retail spot southwest of the town’s historic heart has shoppers altering their usual itinerary. This fashionable women’s shop could double as the personal closet of an eco-minded, paparazzi-aware young actress. Decked out in an organic Threads 4 Thought V-neck tee, David Kahn skinny capri jeans, a vegan Urban Expressions purse, and a turquoise pendant necklace from La Grange designer Laura Sgovio, you’ll be picture-ready for your next coffee run. 2363 Gruene Lake Dr., 830-
627-1177, alibiboutique.com

2. The Gruene Door

Word is out about this sophisticated alternative to Gruene’s laid-back dinner scene. Though not snobbily upscale, it’s more of a first-date destination (lights low, wine list extensive) than a post-tubing hangout. Of course, your love interest may have to fight for your attention when your bacon-wrapped pork loin filet is served and you get lost in the whipped sweet potatoes. Then again, she may be all too happy polishing off her smoky-paprika-and-brown-sugar-glazed salmon and polenta cake to flirt with you anyway. 2360 Gruene Lake Dr., 830-629-2600, thegruenedoor.com

3. Lone Star Music

First came the website, in 1999, a pre-iTunes trove of albums from more than 1,300 Texas-approved musicians (think Willie, Waylon, and their rowdy friends). It was followed by this bricks-and-mortar store, which opened in 2003 and is presided over by a life-size wooden statue of western swing king Bob Wills. Stumbling upon vinyl, CDs, and concert tees from emerging indie-country stars you don’t know but should, like the Turnpike Troubadours and Javi Garcia, is a refreshing reminder of what record shopping was like back in the day. 1243 Gruene Rd., 830-627-1992, lonestarmusic.com

4. Gruene River Grill

Trying to please everyone is a hopeless endeavor, but they come pretty close at this rustic restaurant tucked away on the banks of the Guadalupe. If only Congress could come together like this menu has: Cajun shrimp and a balsamic ribeye. Tortilla soup and jalapeño crawfish chowder. A Gorgonzola burger and fish tacos. Nothing’s fancy, just simple and tasty and inspiring enough to have gained a following with locals and tourists alike. Even the most persnickety eaters will be appeased by the scenic view—or the Italian margaritas enhanced with amaretto. 1259 Gruene Rd., 830-624-2300, gruenerivergrill.com

5. Gruene Hall

The regulars who gather at the state’s oldest continuously run dance hall hold several truths to be self-evident: Live music is an unalienable right; dance with the one that brung ya; and everyone’s entitled to the pursuit of happiness (i.e., another cold Shiner). This hallowed space, which dates to 1878, has hosted the likes of Lyle Lovett, George Strait, and Townes Van Zandt—both before and after they were stars. This month’s lineup includes Randy Travis, Arlo Guthrie, and Jerry Jeff Walker. 1281 Gruene Rd., 830-606-1281, gruenehall.com

6. Buck Pottery

When it comes to his handcrafted pottery, Dee Buck may champion its functionality over its form, but he’s just being modest. The pieces—tortilla warmers, dinnerware sets, olive oil decanters—are practical (not to mention oven-, dishwasher-, and microwave-safe), but they’re striking too. Those dappled wine cups (an effect created as the soda ash in the gas kiln melts onto the stoneware) are too eye-catching to be hidden in the cupboard. 1296 Gruene Rd., 830-629-7975, buckpottery.com

7. The Grapevine Texas Wine Bar

Let’s get right to the good news: three free samples for everybody (of legal drinking age, that is)! It’s a crafty ploy that will spur you to buy bottles of local favorites such as Chisholm Trail’s Ghost Rider (a white merlot) and Dry Comal Creek’s cinnamony cabernet sauvignon. In a nod to the town’s German heritage, add a couple of Teutonic standouts like the Mönchhof Riesling and the Sohne Eiswein to your stash. Most Thursday evenings are “Come and Taste It” nights, with live music in the garden and, of course, more free pours. 1612 Hunter Rd., 830-606-0093, grapevineingruene.com

8. Gruene Outfitters

You’ve been grumbling all day that you’d rather be fishing, but then you step into this angler’s Eden and suddenly you’d rather be … shopping? Yes, you would. Specifically for a new Sage fly rod, some wooly buggers, a pair of Simms waders, and all manner of hardy outerwear and comfy footwear. If you’re new to the Guadalupe (one of the best fly-fishing streams in the U.S.), staffers will happily recommend a local guide. If you’re new to the sport, they’ll oblige you with a free casting lesson on the adjoining lot. 1629 Hunter Rd., 830-625-4440, grueneoutfitters.com

More Texas Monthly

Loading, please wait...

Most Read

  • Viewed
  • Past:
  • 1 week