Texas’ Floore Country Store

Just northwest of San Antonio in Helotes, lies one of my favorite places in all of Texas.

Helotes

John T. Floore Country Store is not a store at all; don’t let the name fool you. This quintessentially-Texan honky tonk has been bringing the San Antonio area live music since the 1940s. From the time of its opening, legendary acts such as Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson, and Elvis Presley have taken the stage at Floore’s.

Everywhere there's signsCredit

StageCredit 

You can still count on seeing some of the best artists Texas has to offer. With people like Pat Green, Robert Earl Keen, Jr., Gary P. Nunn, Reckless Kelly, Lyle Lovett, Charlie Robinson, and Kevin Fowler still gracing the Floore’s stage, this venerable institution shows no sign of slowing down. It’s still the place to be on Friday and Saturday nights for live music, cold beer, and a great time.

Floore's1Pat Green, my former classmate at Texas Tech, takes the stage at Floore’s.

This open-air venue is a simple setup. There’s an easily accessible stage, which allows the crowd to get an up close and personal experience. If you want one of these prized spots, you better be prepared to claim your territory long before the music starts. For those that just want to enjoy some fabulous live music, there are lots of picnic tables available. What’s the best seat in the house? That’s up to you to decide.

The stageCredit 

Floore's3Best seat for Pat Green? With the sound engineer, my Godbrother, Braxton.

The crowd at Floore’s is diverse. The venue attracts all ages and kinds, but everyone has one thing in common: they’re looking for a good time. The mood is festive and the clothes casual. Smart concert goers are dressed for the San Antonio heat and humidity. Men in boots and cowboy hats are just as commonly seen as flip flops and baseball caps. Girls don their flashiest boots paired with shorts and sundresses. This is Texas, after all.

Floore's2Reliving great times at Floore’s with college friends

If you find yourself in need of some food, Floore’s also has a restaurant called the Honky Tonk Cafe. Often folks arrive early for the night’s concert and have a meal here. They serve up Texas favorites like chicken fried steak, fried catfish, and BBQ, but are famous for their homemade bread and tamales. If you can’t make a concert, there’s no need to miss out on the Floore’s experience. The cafe is open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays starting at 11:00 am.

Tamalez Credit

John T FlooreY’all know how I love taking funny pictures.

If you’re looking for a truly Texan experience, a visit to John T. Floore Country Store should be on your itinerary. It’s worth the short drive out of San Antonio, even if you’re not a country music fan. History is alive in this musical institution. You’ll see it on the walls and you’ll feel it in your bones. If you listen really closely, you’ll still hear Bob Wills, Jerry Lee Lewis, Merle Haggard, and Earnest Tubb singing. And if you’re really lucky, you’ll see Willie Nelson take the stage.

Credit

Pat Green performs at John T. Floore Country Store where he sings one of my favorites, “Songs About Texas”.



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48 Comments
  • John
    June 12, 2012

    This looks so quintessentially Texan. I like the new series. I’ve been wanting to write about my home state of Colorado too.

    • Leah Travels
      June 12, 2012

      Thanks, John. I’ve been toying around with writing more about Texas, but I wanted to establish myself as something other than a Texas writer first. There’s so many great things about my home state that I’d be foolish not to share. Although it doesn’t seem as exotic as say, New Zealand, to me, there are others that have interest in Texas. It’s a whole other country, as they say. 😉

      I’d love to read more about Colorado. I spent a lot of time there as a kid, but not so much as an adult. It’s such a neat place.

  • D.J. - The World of Deej
    June 12, 2012

    Awesome…I’ve never had the urge to go to a honkeytonk, but if it’s good enough for Leah, well maybe it’s good enough for me:)

    • Leah Travels
      June 12, 2012

      Oh, come now, Deej, I’m a country girl at heart. And if you heard me speak, you’d know that. The Texas twang is alive and well with me. 🙂 I love a good dive as much as I love a five star hotel. Floore’s is a great time, especially when with friends on a hot summer night.

  • Karolyn Williams via Facebook
    June 12, 2012

    Way better than my guess!

  • I don’t know, Karolyn, yours was pretty fun. 😉

  • Frank DiCesare via Facebook
    June 12, 2012

    This is going to come in real handy. Linda James and I are thinking about a Texas roadie in the fall.

  • Raul (ilivetotravel in Twitter)
    June 12, 2012

    I LIKE the Texas Tuesday idea. What a great way to use this platform to expand folks’ understanding of all that Texas is. I can’t wait for a Texas Tweetup that will allow me to sample YOUR Texas! I have always wanted to see western and northwestern Texas but now I am realizing that there are places near the big towns that I am as keen on getting to see.

    • Leah Travels
      June 12, 2012

      I’m so glad you like it, Raul. I could write something every single day for the next 100 years and still not cover everything I love about Texas. You can expect a lot of stuff about food, little stops off the beaten path, and some of the well-known things, too.

  • Love it Leah!!! The fighting pic is CLASSIC 😉

  • Jaylon Plunkett
    June 12, 2012

    Leah… Did you notice that I was not in any of the pics? Hello, I was taking them!

    Good times, great article and I’m so glad you shared it! We miss you and Matt and you better hurry up and get back! We need another college weekend!

    Texas Tuesday…. Too bad the “Spoon” and the “Beer Garden” are no longer. What a treat that would’ve been to see what you would write! I’m sure that you have other venues up your sleeve though and cannot wait to see them!

    Here’s to the breezes that blow through the treeses and down through little girls kneeses that teases and squeezes and oh Jesus! I’m sure you can remember that toast from way back!

    • Leah Travels
      June 12, 2012

      I might write a RIP piece to all my beloved haunts that are no more, with the Spoon and Beer Garden at the top of the list. You’ve got a wicked-good memory. I forgot about that toast. PS. I have tons of pics of you from that weekend. None were appropriate for an esteemed member of the community like yourself though. 😉

      • Jaylon Plunkett
        June 12, 2012

        That sounds AWESOME! I like how you say I have a wicked-good memory. You know I do… LOL

        Thank you again for the blog! Good stuff! Oh and the pics…. Uh, yeah, probably not! 🙂 Poteet and the Strawberry Festival is always a good time as well! Plunkett House Party in Cedar Park is off the chain as well!

        • Leah Travels
          June 12, 2012

          Yes, I know that the Plunketts know how to show a good time. Yes, and I agree on the Strawberry Festival. Mmmm…food for thought.

  • Kristin Shaw
    June 12, 2012

    This looks like fun! I have been in Austin for three years now and have explored less than half of Texas so far. There is so much to see! Love the silly photos too.

    • Leah Travels
      June 12, 2012

      Helotes has Cornyval in May. It’s a great festival with a rodeo, fair, dance, and all that kind of stuff. It’d be a good time to visit Floore’s at the same time. The weather should be great. I’ll write about Cornyval one day. It’s such a great time.

  • Frank, that sounds like a great idea to me. Hopefully I can fill your itinerary with some great stuff.

  • Michelle, I love that picture like no other. You look like you’re about to whip me though, which is the funniest thing about.

  • Mateo
    June 12, 2012

    Very disappointed, I was at that P Green concert and thought that I had witnessed a sexy “cat fight”. I didn’t know that is was staged… oh well. Awesome post and concept. BTW, you are loved in the Middle East.

    • Leah Travels
      June 12, 2012

      Well, sorry to burst your bubble. You know, we’re lovers, not fighters. 😉

  • Ayngelina
    June 12, 2012

    This is why I want to go to Texas it seems like a completely different country.

    • Leah Travels
      June 12, 2012

      Ayngelina, if you come to Texas I’ll show you a great time. You just give me a heads-up and I’ll come up with some truly Texan experiences. I’m serious, too.

  • Francesca
    June 12, 2012

    You’re taking me to Floore’s when I come to Texas! Love me a good time and some live music, especially if it’s Robert Earl Keen, Jr! I’m so looking forward to more of your Texas Tuesday posts. It’s one state I haven’t spent any time in (save for one quick trip to Houston years back) but I think I’d really like it.

    • Leah Travels
      June 12, 2012

      Oh, I certainly will. There a huge handful of special spots like this one. I actually saw REK Jr. at Floore’s in 1998, I believe. What’s funny is that I ran into Pat Green at the bathrooms. I think I was the only one in the place who recognized him. Oh, how things have changed. I’ll take you to a concert and a football game. Is that a deal?

      • Francesca
        June 14, 2012

        You do have yourself a deal there, ma’am! I’m gonna fire up some REK right now, too 🙂

  • Leah Travels
    June 12, 2012

    Oh really, Mary? It’s such an institution. I figured most every Texan had heard about it. It’s a great time for sure.

  • the lazy travelers
    June 12, 2012

    such a cute idea for a feature! we’re always pro-hometown love.

    • Leah Travels
      June 12, 2012

      Thank you! There’s so much to write about, how could I not? Besides, Texas isn’t home to everyone and what seems ordinary to me might intrigue others.

  • The World Wanderer
    June 12, 2012

    Love the idea of Texas Tuesday. I’ve only been to Texas once, back in college, but don’t feel that I really got the true Texas experience. I have to make my way back there one of these days – looks like a blast!

    • Leah Travels
      June 13, 2012

      Thanks so much. It’s something I envisioned from the start of my blog, but am just now implementing it. I hope I’m able to paint a true picture of my beloved state to everyone. Let me know if you ever decide to visit.

  • lola dimarco
    June 14, 2012

    ummm…think i know what we’ll be up to next time i’m in my great home state of TEJAS! that place looks so freakin’ awesome. do you prefer it over Gruene Hall? i love me some San Antonio too!

    • Leah Travels
      June 14, 2012

      Gruene Hall is amazing. In fact, I will be writing about it down the line. The thing I like about Floore’s is that the music is played completely outside, which, as you know, is a very important thing during a Texas summer. Overall they both give a similar Texas experience. It’s simply a matter of preference. They both serve cold beer and play hot music. 😉

  • @mrsoaroundworld
    June 14, 2012

    This is quintessentially… Texan! I love it. I am soooooooo curious to visit this state. I am sooooo going to enjoy Texas Tuesdays!!

    • Leah Travels
      June 14, 2012

      Yep, Mrs. O, you’ll have to get out of Arizona and California and add Texas to your USA trip next year.

  • Pola (@jettingaround)
    June 14, 2012

    OK when I saw this post, my jaw dropped. I was there when staying in San Antonio a couple of years ago!! The place is great and loved every minute of being there – watching people dance (the biggest concentration of cowboy boots & hats in one place I’ve seen to date) and the music. That’s when I discovered a great country western/honky tonk band (can’t beat the live thing). I bought the CD and talked to the singer and in general had a blast. All thanks to Mr. JA who had found that place for us. 🙂

    • Leah Travels
      June 14, 2012

      That’s too funny, Pola! Hahaha…I’m glad to hear that someone other than a Texan loves it too. Who did you see in concert?

      • Pola (@jettingaround)
        June 15, 2012

        It was Lil’ Bit & The Customatics. I love the singer’s voice!

        • Leah Travels
          June 18, 2012

          I’ve not heard of them. I suppose that I need to check them out if you’re so high on them.

  • Jetting Around
    June 14, 2012

    That place is awesome! I have great memories from my trip there. And a CD to prove it. 😉

  • Will Peach
    June 14, 2012

    Well isn’t this a neat little feature? Stunning photos, a little Texan education, sound engineers with big bushy beards and a bit of Willie thrown in, what’s not to like?

    • Leah Travels
      June 14, 2012

      Well, Mr. Peach, I like a bushy beard and my country music singers with pigtails. I’m going to squeeze a Willie mention into as many posts as possible to keep you coming back.

  • Katherine of Kapcha The World
    June 14, 2012

    This place looks so much fun. I’m not much of a country music girl (we don’t have a lot of it in NZ) but I will totally have to go there when I visit my friend in San Antonio. P.S. I love that you say/write Y’all 🙂

    • Leah Travels
      June 14, 2012

      Yes! You must have your friend take you to Floore’s. You’ll not regret it. I try not to write like I speak, but I draw the line at not using y’all. It is who I am. Whatever. 🙂

  • Katherine of Kapcha The World
    June 14, 2012

    And I am dying to get an authentic pair of cowboy boots – have lusted after them for years now! Good excuse to buy some before going here! lol

    • Leah Travels
      June 14, 2012

      I have a couple pairs of boots, but I LUST after Rocketbuster boots out of El Paso. They’re works of art. It’s a husband and wife team, and she used to design for Nicole Miller. AMAZING. I’m saving my pennies to get a pair custom designed. Check them out: http://rocketbuster.com/

  • Nomadic Samuel
    June 20, 2012

    I’ve done a lot of travel in the States but never to Texas. I’m really keen on checking out this unique state sometime hopefully soon.

    • Leah Travels
      June 20, 2012

      I bet you’d get some great photos, Samuel. If you ever do decide to come to Texas, please let me know. I’d love to meet and/or point you to some great stuff.

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