LLANO: The first, second and third pictures are of the
Granite-O-Bar; next, the Llano Bridge and then a pic taken downtown where you'll find the
Stonewall Pizzeria on the corner.
Llingering in Llano
Story & Photos by IRA KENNEDY
If you're thinking just cause I lived in Llano County for nearly a decade I'm
partial to the place, you'd be right. And seeing as how I posted three pictures of
the Granite-O-Bar you might think I'm partial to it too. Well, there ain't nothing
partial about that.
As we pulled into Llano, the red neon OPEN sign on the
Granite-O might have triggered some phenomena like magnetic attraction; but most likely it
was just the chance to meet up with old friends and cold longnecks. Seeing a few
familiar pick-ups parked out front cinched the decision.
might as well know now, I put in all those bar pictures so I'd have something handy to
look at when I get homesick -- or would that be barsick -- no, that doesn't sound right
either -- anyway, when we walked in we were greeted like we'd arrived at some family
reunion, or as if we hadn't been away at all. Like when Bart Freeman picked up on a
conversation he'd started with Ms. Intrepid the last time he saw her, three years ago.
The GO Bar is like the TV program Cheers, except
instead of a postal worker and psychiatrist, you have construction workers and cowboys.
It's not a place where everybody just knows your name -- they know most
In fact, it wasn't long before one ol' boy standing
next to me said to another, "Listen, if I ever forget anything I've ever done, I'll
just ask you or phone Darlene."
Now, you'd think that living in a small town like
this, were no act goes unobserved or unreported, might be a handy behavior-modification
program that would inspire everyone to hold to some strict standards. You'd be wrong
on that score.
I mean not just anyone in town would ride their horse
into the bar. But Bart Freeman did. I don't know why, and I never
asked cause it didn't seem that unusual -- least ways not for Bart.
It's not that this is some kind of rowdy honkey-tonk
like in the movies where fights are more common than the two-step. It's just that
this bar so laid-back a feller can show off his horse indoors without getting crossways
with the law.
And if you need a helping hand all you gotta do is
ask. Like the time one of my hens stowed away in the back floorboard of my vehicle.
I'd just pulled into the parking lot when I heard
this clucking noise. Seems my fine feathered passenger had just laid an egg.
Even though the back window of my 4x4 was left in shattered pieces in the next county
where I'd backed into a telephone pole a year earlier, I assumed Hen would keep her
progeny warm while I did the only responsible thing I could -- support my local watering
I should'a known better. On the way out I saw Hen
wandering around amongst the parked trucks. Despite our longstanding relationship
she did everything possible to avoid capture. ( Female. Need I say more?) Being
fully alive to the situation I went back inside to recruit a few hands for a round-up.
Soon there were five of us hen wranglers in the
parking lot running around all bent over and reaching for feathers with no success.
Finally Hen took to the air and flew into a neighbor's yard behind the bar. With
that we gave up the chase. It was a sobering experience to be sure so I went back
inside to ponder. Why did the chicken hitch-hike to the bar?
I learned a few days later that every now and again a
patron in the bar would attempt a little hen rustling.
"I reckon you heard," I was told,
"someone caught that hen of yours. Said that if you want her back, she's
"No," I said. "Besides, how can
you keep them down on the farm once they've seen a honkey-tonk?"
Intrepid and I didn't stay as long as I would have if left to my own devices, but we did
have more miles ahead of us than we had time for. But just so you won't think that
my only favorite place in Llano is the Granite-O let me cover a few others.
establishments you can't beat Cooper's
Old Time Pit Barbeque just up the road on Hwy 29. It's one of the best BBQ
joints in the state, and President Bush's favorite. If you're looking for a real
hamburger or an authentic chicken fried steak turn left at the light and look on your left
for the Burger Bar. For the best pizza and deli sandwiches in the area check out
Stonewall Pizzeria on the square.
And while in Llano take the time to visit the Llano
Museum near the bridge, or the Hill Country Wildlife Museum on the square. But
whatever you do be sure to visit Llano on the 4th weekend in April. That's when they
hold the Annual Crawfish Open.
For my money it's the event in the Hill Country. There's a golf tournament, skeet tournament,
rodeo, live music day and night, and -- my favorite part -- crawfish.
PAGE 1: WIMBERLEY / PAGE 2: PACKSADDLE COUNTRY
PAGE 3: LLANO / PAGE 4: CLICK ROUTE /
MAP & ROAD RULES
TEXAS HOME PAGE
PIONEER RECIPES: 0ur Pioneer
Cooking website has more than 700 authentic recipes and household tips. It's
inexpensive and unique.
TEXAS HILL COUNTRY HISTORY & FEATURE STORIES
Texas Hill Country Lodging:
The Full Moon Inn is the |Premier B&B near Fredericksburg Texas
BOOKMARK THIS SITE
TYPE CTRL-D NOW