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River Road Icehouse
River Road Icehouse
1791 Hueco Springs Rd.
New Braunfels,TX 78170
This Venue is a Favorite of 7 members

Average Rating  3.3


Total Reviews:12

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River Road Icehouse is one of the newer live music venues in one of the oldest locations around New Braunfels. Ken Jenkines and Mel Polk, owner of Amigo Mel’s and Texas River Trips tubing outfitters, joined forces to create a unique kind of dancehall. “When we took it over, it was just a nightclub that played hard rock and heavy metal,” Jenkines said. “We changed it up and cleaned it up. We kept the rustic motif that it is today. They say it was built in the 1930s.” Polk’s Amigo Mel’s business has been on the location for more than four years, and Jenkines said he saw an opportunity to expand the location and make it a live music venue with inside and outside entertainment. Jenkines said the icehouse eventually would have three areas of bands — inside, outside and, finally, a super-stage. “When the weather’s good, most bands will play outside,” he said. “This place is only limited to the weather — if it rains, bands have to come inside.” River Road Icehouse opened its doors March 1. While the owners said they were not trying to duplicate Gruene Hall, they said the oldest dancehall in Texas did limit the music options in New Braunfels. “(The Icehouse) gives musicians a chance to play outside Gruene Hall when they outgrow it. We can triple Gruene Hall capacity,” Jenkines said. Capacity of the Icehouse is 2,300 outside. Jenkines said all his buddies called the large outside stage “the Aerosmith stage.” Another nickname for the outdoor stage is the “Miller Light stage” because it has only Miller products on it. “It makes all the other beer companies envious,” Jenkines said. The owners have made numerous additions to the stage area. “The concrete was here — we saw the vision to expand it. We built a canopy over the stage. People like to come out here,” Jenkines said. They also bought the old circus tent that previously housed Old Gruene Market Days. In addition to picnic tables and a foosball table, the outside boasts two bars — a dance area bar and an outside bar building. When Pat Green played recently, the River Road Icehouse sold out a week beforehand to 1,700 people, and a third bar had to be set up. “The Pat Green concert was a big success,” Jenkines said. “We promote ourselves as family-oriented because we allow families with kids to come out. A lot of places don’t do that. “I’m out here walking around, making sure everyone’s having a good time. We haven’t had any police out here, no fights.” He said he only booked bands when he was there to avoid problems. “What’s neat about these guys — the bands that come out here — is I’ve struck up a really good relationship with them,” Jenkines said. River Road Icehouse also offers features a full convenience store with fresh-cooked turkey legs, chopped barbecue beef sandwiches, corn dogs, breakfast tacos and sausage-on-a-stick. “We’re not on the water, but we’ll take you to the water,” Jenkines said. “Next Sunday, Roger Creager’s doing a tube float.” He said the artist might do a little acoustic set as well. The Icehouse has live music most Wednesdays and every Thursday through Sunday. Normally no cover is charged Sunday through Thursday unless a big act is playing, but cover charges range from $5 to $15 on Fridays and Saturdays. “A lot of people around here aren’t used to paying covers,” Jenkines said. “But then I ask them, ‘How do you think we pay these people?’” Jenkines also said that all bands must present CD packages to play so that they can be screened. The hall has an open “mic” night with Alan Voilt, the leader of the Flying Zippers, on Thursdays so bands can audition. Voilt has his own recording studio and is going to have the top bands make a live CD, Jenkines said. The new owners also built a fence around the outside area and rental cabins complete with air-conditioning. There are five log cabins on the property: one two-story that sleeps 10 people and four one-stories. The owners built them all themselves, Polk said. Prices run anywhere from $65 to $200 a night, and a two-night discount is offered. “It’s a work in progress,” Polk said of the entire venture. “We’ve got a lot of cleaning up to do.” The hall is open every day from 8 a.m. to midnight and is only closed Christmas Day. Promoting the “down-home” atmosphere of the River Road Icehouse is the “ring game” on the front porch. If someone manages to snag a ring three times in a row on a hook attached to a post, he or she gets a free beer. Victories are marked with bottle caps next to the hook. Dress at River Road Icehouse is casual — what you’re wearing on the water will work just fine, Polk and Jenkines said.
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