- our GPS took us on a wild goose chase, but we finally found it.
Although we were early enough to have dinner before the band started playing at 7:30, we opted to just peruse the museum and hang out till we could try out the dance floor.
The place is chocked full of interesting memorabilia from Buck's career. As you enter the restaurant/museum/dance hall, you are greeted by a bevy of life-size statues of some of the greats in country music- Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, George Jones, George Strait, Bob Wills, and, of course, Buck Owens. The walls around the dining area and dance floor have glass cases filled with stuff like Buck's costumes, record charts, photos of career highlights, record album covers, and a section on Hee Haw. The walls, ceiling and seemingly every available square inch of space in the bar area are covered with portraits of country music stars and other celebrities. The main feature behind the bar is the classic Cadillac convertible you may have seen in the movies...
Julia & I were a little disappointed in the music- a local brass band (two trumpets, a sax, guitar, and drums), with a female lead singer who had a strong voice, but came off as a Shania Twain wanna be, singing a lot of up-tempo pop style stuff with an occasional tribute to Buck and his vision for the Crystal Palace. She did one Buck Owens song- one of our favorites, Together Again, but it was WAY too slow! Later on, one of the male band members did a very good version of my request- Love's Gonna Live Here and we had a chance to do a fast swing.
Our major complaint is that almost the entire floor was taken up the whole time we were there by a local group of line dancers- they NEVER left the floor! On top of that, they were doing obscure dances that nobody outside the group knew, so it was a closed show. Also, most of them were clearly just learning the dances because only one or two actually knew the steps. It was NOT a good place for outsiders like us to come and enjoy dancing in a new venue.
One other comment- it is said that Buck designed the place to be family friendly, and it is- little kids were constantly on the dance floor, encouraged by doting parents to show their stuff. Again, NOT a suitable atmosphere for adult country dancing. I'm guessing it is a completely different place on Friday and Saturday nights!