Live music. Killer patio. Cold Shiner. Even if you know nothing else about Love and War in Texas, that alone should be enough to get your boot scootin’ booty over there faster than you can tie your horse to the hitchin’ post.
The whole place is a tribute to the Texas way of life. Open since 1999, it’s part restaurant, part music venue, part beer garden. Sitting on the secluded shady patio for hours, sipping cold beers, hanging out with friends, listening to live music, you’ll forget you’re only a block away from Central Expressway and think you’ve somehow been magically teleported to a dancehall in the Hill Country.
Owner Tye Phelps worked in the restaurant industry for years before he developed his own idea for a Texas concept restaurant. He wanted a spot that celebrates what Texas is all about, but not “Texas-themed” with cheesy line-dancing servers or sheriff stars pinned to the hostesses.
Growing up in Kerrville, Phelps traveled the state extensively with his father, who was on the Texas Tourism Board and 1986 Sesquicentennial Committee. This inspired him to develop a menu that reads like a road map of Texas. The Hill Country section of the menu offers wild game and German bratwurst, the Gulf coast is largely seafood, the East Texas Piney Woods serves catfish, and the Border is appropriately all Tex-Mex. Phelps even sources the ingredients from their relevant regions when he is able, getting the venison sausage and boar from the Hill Country and steaks from just west of Fort Worth.
But really, the live music is what has made Love and War a true destination, and almost every single night of the week you’ll find guitars strumming on the immense patio. Texas singer-songwriters (no cover bands) are the highlight here, and although you’ll mostly hear country music, some nights you can enjoy Texas rock or blues.
Weekends are when to catch the big national music acts, but Mondays and Tuesdays are also gems, with lesser-known artists having their own pickin’ party on the patio. This is the place to see someone before they get big. Cross Canadian Ragweed, Wade Bowen, Randy Rogers and Eli Young all got their start at Love and War playing to crowds of 20 people. So did Miranda Lambert, who went from selling hats made out of Shiner beer caps on the patio, to playing a song here and there between acts, and then onto winning several Grammy awards.
Love and War in Texas makes everyone feel like a country boy or girl at heart. Come for the food, but plan to stay a long, long time for the music.
Love and War in Texas Website >