Unfortunately by now they almost belong on the endangered species list in Texas. We are talking about old fashioned Honky Tonks, the dive beer joints, the bustling saloons, which by now have mostly disappeared from urban areas. Some isolated ones, mostly hiding in the country, can still be found. Their habitat, even though shrinking, lies from Central Texas going south towards the border, the buckle of the bible-belt up in North Texas was just too tight, with only Fort Worth and it's legendary stockyards being an exception.
This specimen, the Double Ringer (lat.: Duplex dingding), can be found about 25 miles northeast of San Antonio on your way to Seguin. Drive south off IH-10 on 2538 or 325 and you should find it nestled into the woods in an old German town called Zuehl. The Double Ringer has a history, it used to be primarily a meat market and a bar on the side in the beginning, these days it pretty much sticks to the selling of libations. But if you are lucky - and chances are way better than the odds of the Texas lottery - the owner Billy may cook something for his guests, either frying fish or barbequeing on one of the many grills outside.
Double Ringer refers to the game of Horseshoe pitching, where you try to throw horseshoes around a stake. If your shoe completely encircles the stake and a line can be drawn from both ends of the shoe without touching the stake, you score a ringer. If you repeat this with your second throw and both shoes are lying around the stake, then you score a Double Ringer.
And if you walk in and nobody is in the bar, the patrons are sitting outside, below some shade trees, telling tall tales and lore and enjoying some cold ones. If you need a sports bar, are on the prowl to chase the other gender or not flexible to mingle with people - this bar is not for you! Obviously they are also biker friendly.
Sources: National Horseshoe Pitching Association,
This shot and others are available for publication through photo agency, Dispatch Press Images, DPI. It is also featured in my ClickASnap portfolio and in my Niume photo sphere blog.