Focus on the Backroads » Photo Journeys

FOCUS ON THE BACKROADS: TEXAS DANCE HALL: FLOORE’S COUNTRY STORE

In 1858 George Marnoch, a Scottish immigrant, purchased the land that would later become the site of Helotes, Texas.  His home served as both a stop for the stagecoach and a post office for local cowboys driving cattle from Bandera to auction in San Antonio.  In 1880, Arnold Gugger bought a portion of the land and built his home and a general store.  Around this store Helotes began to grow.  In 1908, Gugger sold his property to Bert Hileman, who opened the towns first gas station and dance hall.  The towns population began to decline and he sold his holding in 1919.

As World War II ended John T Floore managed the San Antonio’s Majestic Theatre.  In 1945 he purchased  land outside of San Antonio and created the Floore Subdivision, with plans to make it the center for the small community of Helotes.  He and his wife operated a Red and White Store.  Red and White Stores were a chain of independently owned food stores that operated in small towns throughout the United States.   In 1942  John T.  Floore’s Country Store was opened.  It was not just a store but a Dance Hall and Cafe that also offered meat and groceries.  It quickly became know for its world famous tamales, exceptional homemade bread, distinct Texas menu, cold beer, and of course great music by some of the biggest names in the industry.

Some of the artist that have performed at John T. Floore’s Country Store include Bob Wills, Ernest Tubbs, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Elvis, Dob Dylan, Jerry Lee Lewis, Merle Haggard, Ray Price, George Jones,  Waylon Jennings, Dwight Yoakam, Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl King, B.B. King, Little Richards, and of course Willie Nelson.   Floore’s is known as the birthplace of Willie’s musical life – in his early years he played there every Saturday night.  Floore’s continues host the current Texas and Red Dirt Stars.

Floore’s has a stage inside and seating that can accommodate 400.  Also outside there is a stage and what John Floore billed as “the largest patio in the Southwest”.  The outdoor area will accommodate up to 2,000.

When entering the building you immediately enter the ultimate TEXAS atmosphere.  From the ceiling there hangs boots, cowboy hats, and wagon wheels.  On the walls there are framed pictures and concert posters of famous country singers and actors.  Through the room are signs – many of them clever quotes that were found in a trunk after John Floore’s died in 1975.

In the March 2001 issue of Texas Monthly, John T. Floore’s Country Store was listed as one of the top 50 Things Every Texas Should Do.  Please remember you don’t have to be a Texan to visit!  In 2006 they received a Texas Historical Marker.

When visiting the San Antonio area remember the famous words of General Sam Houston  REMEMBER THE ALAMO……..but don’t forget to visit FLOORE’S COUNTRY STORE!

 

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