The owner of the 11th Street Cowboy Bar in Bandera is hanging up his hat, and the venue is hosting a party this weekend to honor him.
James McGroarty, who was born and raised in Bandera and worked in the petroleum industry before founding an environmental waste management company, bought the property in 2006. He recently put the venue up for sale, citing health issues, and said he hopes someone will carry on his legacy.
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The bar is housed in an old, wood-framed building with a porch out front and a bandstand out back where musicians lure two-steppers out for a twirl every weekend.
This weekend’s celebration, dubbed the Big Texas Bash, will feature music by Gary P. Nunn and Kevin Fowler. Doors open at 6 p.m. and music starts at 7 p.m.
I visited the 11th Street Cowboy Bar in 2007, when I wrote about Bandera for an article in the Austin American-Statesman. On Wednesdays, customers are invited to bring their own steaks (or protein of choice) to throw on one of the grills out back. A band played “Waltz Across Texas” as I seasoned up my ribeye and sizzled it on a communal grill.
“11th Street Cowboy Bar is all about providing the best Country Western music and swing dance experience in Texas and sharing drinks with good friends,” McGroarty said in a press release.
McGroarty also expanded the Annual Cowboy Mardi Gras Parade and Party, which draws thousands of people to downtown Bandera each spring.
This weekend, doors open at 6 p.m. and music starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 at the door. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Vaqueros Legacy Preservation Foundation, which supports responsible rangeland and wildlife management, environmental conservation, and agricultural and animal science initiatives. For more information go to www.11thstreetcowboybar.com.