Dripping Springs: Mercer Street Dance Hall

Mercer Street Dance Hall– See calendar for bands playing. Cash only. 332 Mercer Street, Dripping Springs, TX 78620 Phone: 512-858-4314

Hamilton Pool– 9am to 6pm daily weather permitting (Website is updated daily).  During summer may be a two or three hour wait to get in because Hamilton Pool limits the number of people that can be in the park at one time.

Mercer Street Dancehall, Photo by Lea Elsbury

Mercer Street Dancehall, Photo by Lea Elsbury

Dripping Springs is located about twenty minutes southwest of Austin on 290.  As one drives out of Austin, Dripping Springs is where the landscape starts to change from city buildings and highways to amazing rolling hills and blue skies.  People around Austin know Dripping Springs for Hamilton Pool, and now it’s also got a dance hall, Mercer Street Dance Hall.  My suggestion would be to spend the day swimming at Hamilton Pool (which deserves its own post, so I will need to do that soon), and then spend an evening at Mercer Street dancing and listening to some good music #perfectTXsummerday.

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Mercer Street Dance Hall, Dripping Springs, TX

A couple Friday nights ago Ben, myself, and a good friend of ours walked in to Mercer Street Dance Hall.  It’s an old barn refurbished to be a dance hall, and according to the Austin American Statesmen the people of Dripping Springs donated everything from wood for the floors to a toilet to make this dance hall happen.  To me, that seems just how a dance hall should be built considering the German and Czech settlers who built these dance halls did so as a place to bring the community together and have a bit of the homeland with them.  Music, dancing, and gathering took place in these old dance halls the way it had in their homes across the ocean, so it seems appropriate that a community would work together to build this dance hall.

Mercer Street Dance Hall

Mercer Street Dance Hall

Inside Mercer Street Dance Hall that night the band was getting warmed up, and a few people were sitting around waiting to dance.  Texas memorabilia hung on the walls along with quite a few deer heads staring down at us.  That night it felt a bit like Mercer Street was still trying to figure out its vibe (it did just open in February), bar or dance hall.  I guess a place can be both, but I really like that when we went to Twin Sisters Dance Hall in Blanco it was very much about the music and the dancing.  People were drinking, for sure, but little kids and adults were out there dancing and having a good time.  At Mercer Street Dance Hall, the very structure of it makes it so the dance floor is only one-third of the building, the rest consists of places to sit and then there is an outside area with a pool table and lounge chairs.  With that kind of structure, it feels like that one-third could be overtaken.  However, having said that, everyone, all ages, that night was dancing (full disclosure: except myself and Ben.  I know, I know!  I’m a total hypocrite here, but I do love to watch the dancing and listen to the music).

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Mercer Street Dance Hall, Dripping Springs

When we walked in, the owner greeted us at the door and told us how lucky he felt today after just reading a depressing story in the newspaper.  He put our wristbands on, tipped his cowboy hat and told us to have a good time.  Ben and I walked on, but our friend stayed and chatted a bit.  She’s a Texan to the core and has been dancing in dance halls probably before she walked (I swear this is possible).  After she spoke with the owner and a few other people, she met us at the bar and told us that night was high school graduation so that’s why the there weren’t as many people at the dance hall.  With barely a sip from her beer, our friend was asked to dance.  We watched her two stepping along with most of the other patrons there that evening.  Even though it wasn’t packed, everyone was having a really good time, and the band was good.

The kind of pretty you might see driving around the Texas Hill Country, Photo by Lea Elsbury

The kind of pretty you might see driving around the Texas Hill Country, Photo by Lea Elsbury

A Couple Dance Hall Resources:

Texas Dance Hall Preservation

Short Texas Dance Hall Video

About benleeirene

My husband and I live in Texas. He managed a kitchen in one of our town's local restaurants for six years, but he has recently returned to school and is loving it. I teach at a nearby school. I am creating this blog for fun and as an attempt to encourage my husband and myself to continue doing things we love: cooking, taking photos, and writing. Well, he loves cooking and I love taking and photos and writing. I would love to hear what you think!
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