Henry Gruene established the Gruene General Store in 1878, to serve the needs of the sharecroppers who lived on his land and raised cotton. The "company town" also had a recreation center in the form of a dance hall and saloon, which was the only business that continued to operate after the boll weevil destroyed the cotton industry, and thus the town, in 1925. With the exception of the dance hall, the town lay dormant until 1974, when it was restored and established by the State Historical Commission as a Historical District.
The Gruene General Store was re-opened in 1989. The authenticity of the Gruene General Store, right in the center of Gruene, will amaze you. This old-fashioned emporium is housed in the building that was the general store. Visitors of all ages will delight in displays that are mixed with old and new items.
Nostalgia abounds from front to back. The Gruene General Store is a must see for collectors of Americana. The old wooden floors, patched with rusty old license plates, will creak underfoot as you admire the vintage advertising signs, Coca-Cola items, store fixtures, and other oldies-but-goodies. Many of the antique signs and objects have found their way into the decor of some of America's and Europe's most popular restaurants and stores. You may be tempted to add one to your special room at home.
Sit down at the soda fountain and have a $.05 cup of coffee while the little ones enjoy soda, water, and Blue Bell ice cream. Free samples of Uncle Otto's homemade fudge are available to every customer. We have a selection of fresh ground coffee, candy by the pound and on the shelves, and the largest selection of Texas-made food products in these parts. You can stock your home pantry with Texas tastes as well as find perfect gifts for special people back home. Browsing is half the fun in the General Store.
Your toes will tap to the music played in the store- everything from Hank Williams to Hal Ketchum, with lots of hard-to-find oldies thrown in. Along with the old, you will find a selection of cards, T-shirts, caps, toys, puzzles, games and books. Gruene General Store is open seven days a week year-round, with the exception of Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, we have extended summer hours that keeps the fun going into the night. Come visit us in historic Gruene and watch the world go by from our front porch.