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Boomtown to get dance hall

By By Dianna Wray - DWRAY@VICAD.COM
Oct. 29, 2011 at 5:29 a.m.

Justin Littles, of Cuero, carries a ladder as he works on the construction of Troubadours Dancehall and Saloon at the site of an old hardware store at 144 E. Main St. in Cuero. James Bricker, co-owner of the business, said the Eagle Ford Shale production and resulting boom in the area were significant factors in his decision to bring a business to the area. "There's really not anything like this  in Cuero," he said.

CUERO - James Bricker stood in the doorway of his new dance hall, the Troubadour.

Shadows from the afternoon sun floated around the cavernous space, and the aged wooden floors, covered with grit, smelled of ancient dust mingled with the sharp scent of pine from the new stage his carpenters were busy installing.

Soon, this old building will ring with clanging pianos and twanging guitars, while couples two-step across the old wood floor - another space brought back to life by drilling in the Eagle Ford Shale.

Because of this drilling, much of the Crossroads is gushing oil and bringing new life and new realities to the communities that live above it.

The Victoria Advocate continues its comprehensive examination of how this will impact the Crossroads, both the good and the bad. The second part of the series looks at the impact on Cuero, a new boomtown.

"It was the Eagle Ford that brought me here," Bricker said, surveying the hall. He is from Liberty, a town about 190 miles east of Cuero.

He worked for years managing an arena theater. When he retired, he thought he was done working for good. Then an old friend called and asked whether he was interested in coming out of retirement to try his hand at running a saloon and dance hall. The Eagle Ford Shale was turning the once-quiet town of Cuero into a boomtown, and Bricker agreed, thinking a place like his is exactly what a busy, growing oil town would need.

Carpenters are banging away at the huge building that once housed a hardware store ready to open as a saloon in November.

"It's exciting. We don't know what to expect," he said.

For the full story on Cuero's boom, see related story.

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