Whether you’re looking to celebrate your boot-scootin’ roots or a tourist searching for an authentic Texan experience, Neon Boots Dancehall & Saloon will certainly fit the bill. Established in 2013, this cowboy-themed gay dance hall is about 8 miles away from the typical Montrose Gayborhood scene, at 11410 Hempstead Road. The building itself is the stuff of legend. The historic location was formerly the Esquire Ballroom, a massive honky-tonk that hosted country greats like George Jones, Patsy Cline, and Loretta Lynn. In 1959, Willie Nelson got his start playing in the Esquire’s live band, allegedly writing songs in the car every day on his commute from his home in Pasadena. Not your typical hole-in-the-wall, Neon Boots offers themed nights and dance lessons for both couples and singles alike.
On Thursdays, line dancing lessons start at 7:30 PM, followed by West Coast Swing lessons at 8:15. There are also line dancing lessons on Saturdays at 8PM, along with live music on Saturday evenings, burgers fresh off the grill, and all the two-steppin’ your heart desires. Definitely a well-rounded establishment, there is steak night and bingo on Wednesdays, a taco stand on Fridays, and karaoke every night. The house DJ plays to the crowd, so if country isn’t your bag, you’re just as likely to hear pop on packed nights. If dancing just isn’t for you, there are plenty of sights to see and drink specials at the bar. Friday and Saturday nights are the only nights with a cover charge, and that is only after 9 PM. One of the many perks to this location that is sure to delight city slickers is the large parking lot in front of the building, where parking is totally free, including an overflow lot just in case. While Neon Boots is known as a gay country bar, all are welcome and embraced.
As the site of the former Esquire Ballroom, Neon Boots is a piece of genuine Texas History with a promising future. A queer honky-tonk thriving after five years in business is just one of the many treasures that one can find where the stars at night are big and bright. Whether you’re up for an adventurous date night with dance lessons or a simple change of scenery, you’ll be sure to get your Brokeback Boogie on in style at this storied dance hall just outside of the loop.