Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Give new Schroeder Hall leadership a chance

By the Advocate Editorial Board
June 23, 2014 at 1:23 a.m.

Schroeder Hall is one of the jewels of Texas and the Crossroads. It is a place where local bands and international music stars have performed.

Now, what has been known as the second-oldest dance hall in Texas has been sold, and some readers have expressed concerns about the new owner. The hall was purchased Tuesday by Doug Guller, the owner of the famous Bikinis Sports Bar and Grill chain and ATX Brands. The affiliation with the name Bikinis initially raised some concerns for us as well, but statements by Guller and Stephen Dean, the new manager and booking agent for Schroeder Hall, have helped assuage those fears.

In several different statements, Guller and Dean expressed the intention to preserve Schroeder Hall while also working to bring in more acts and activity to the historic venue. Dean, who is also affiliated with Texas Dance Hall Preservation Inc., said in a previous article that he plans to make a few changes to improve the business, but he does not plan to bring in "bikini babes." However, he does plan to make the building smoke-free, get a liquor license, bring in new artists and start an outdoor music festival.

These sound like fantastic ideas for the improvement of the hall while still respecting and preserving a piece of Texas' history. We applaud Guller and Dean for their commitment to preserving history, and we encourage members of the Crossroads community to give these men a chance to put their vision for the hall into action. If done well, this has the potential to further expand and support an active live music community in the Crossroads while also giving people of all ages a safe place to go for some fun.

As the hall takes a step in a new direction, we would like to take a moment to thank Sharon and Jack Kleinecke, previous owners of Schroeder Hall in Goliad County, for their efforts over the years. Their hard work helped ensure the hall stayed in business and could serve residents for generations. Now, as the Kleineckes let go of the hall, we want to thank them for all of their efforts to keep Schroeder Hall going in the same spirit it has held for years before and for years to come.

Schroeder Hall now faces a future full of possibilities. We wish the new leadership the best as they work to preserve and promote an important part of Texas' culture. Dance halls were once essential parts of communities, and Schroeder Hall, if properly handled, has the capability to bring that back.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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