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Oct 25

How “Art in the Heart” Marked the Beginning of the Buda Art Movement

Posted to Adventure Friday by Gabriela Moore

Three graffiti artists at Tavern on Main

Now, the title may say “beginning,” but the real truth behind that statement is that art was always here, just hiding in the rich history of Buda’s culture—a story that economic changes influence in the creative world. If you talk to anyone who grew up in Buda in the 80’s, Downtown Buda was a haven for anyone with a creative bone and was once lined with art studios and craft makers alike.

Steve Harris, a second generation artist to call Buda home,  was born in the 70’s to a professional potter who owned a studio along-side the many artists in downtown at that time. He thinks back on life in the “good old days” as a child running around downtown, generally creating mischief, but always admiring the people behind the art.

“I remember the unique sense of unity between the artists and craftsmen,” Steve says. “Every time one would take a break from their work they would walk down Main Street and stop in to visit the neighboring studios to share ideas, discuss upcoming art shows and swap bad jokes.”

It’s this exact history that the #budaartmovement we saw at Art in the Heart tips its hat to. The explosion in population across the Austin area in the 90’s brought in more shops and dining into downtown spurring an inevitable rise in property taxes and slowly pushing the artist to seek lower rent. But with the Buda Main Street Program starting the initiative to create an arts district in downtown, and the city-wide support of the Inspired Minds Art Center opening in downtown, we are seeing a resurgence of this history come to life.

“Buda is once again becoming a prosperous location for both the established and emerging artist. This is showcased by the local businesses offering there space to display artwork, companies such as Two Wheel Brewing sponsoring art events and the highly reputable Assemblage Contemporary Craftsman Gallery calling Downtown Buda home,” Steve said. “The efforts put forth by Sinead and Susan of Inspired Minds Art Center has created an opportunity for local artists to network and support each other much like the early days that I remember.”

Today we look to a future that not only showcases the arts, but gives it a place to grow and call home. With its resurgence, arts and culture has become its own economic influence that brings tourism and invites visitors to not only explore but also contribute to our community. And I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty thrilled to know that no matter what changes a community faces—arts and culture have the power to push through and bring people together as it has for millennia.

As Marcela Kourkova from Fine Art Buda says, “[Art] connects community and teaches us to imagine and dream.” The #budaartmovement may be just beginning in 2019, but it has a strong history and a lot of soul deep in its bones. Take a look. 

Jul 30

Guys’ Night Out: 5 Things To Do on the Main Street Strip

Posted to Happy Trails by Gabriela Moore

A map of the Main Street Strip
By: Jeremiah Galo

1. Two Wheel

On the south end of Main Street not too far from the downtown scene you’ll find the first and only craft brewery in Buda -- a unique brewery with an eclectic variety of beers to quench your thirst. As soon as you enter, you can feel the 80's vibe featuring fascinating wall art and
Guys clinking beer glasses at Two Wheel
painted skateboards mounted on the wall. With a good deal of outdoor benches and board games you can grab, this is a great place to visit when passing time with your buds. An unquestionable local favorite is the Budaful Blonde. This blonde ale has a nice citrus and malt flavor that has a smooth sip. And if you’re like us, you always have to ask the bartender their current favorite. The Race Pointe IPA with a fruity aroma of pineapple and mango came highly recommended by Two Wheel. They are constantly crafting new brews, so there is always a reason to come back and try more.
Guys playing Foosball at Two Wheel

Two Wheel Brewing Co.

535 S LOOP 4

Buda, TX 78610

(512) 361-3401


Wed 4pm-9pm (Roll of the Dice) 

Thu 4pm-9pm (Happy Hour ALL DAY) 

Fri 4pm-10pm (Happy hour 4pm-7pm)

Sat 12pm-10pm

Sun 12pm-8pm

2. The Cigar Vault

The only town you’ll find a bank vault of hand-selected cigars is here in the heart of Downtown Buda. A great place for a get together at a one-of-a-kind historic location. From the outside, it may come across as a vintage shop, but when you walk in you’ll
Lit Cigar resting at the Cigar Vault
find an easy going lounge with classic leather sofas to unwind, smoke cigars and have a few beers.
With such a large variety of cigars to choose from, staff is ready to provide recommendations based on your tastes all while doing a fantastic job of making you feel welcomed. Head outside and down the alleyway to find a big open patio with live music performances and a food truck on the weekends.
Group conversing in alley by Cigar Vault.

The Cigar Vault


Buda, TX  78610

(512) 361-3289

Hours: Sun-Thu 12pm-8pm; Fri-Sat 10am-11pm

3. Willie’s Joint If you’ve been to Buda and you haven’t checked out Willie’s yet then you’re missing out. This BBQ restaurant and bar has room for everyone and is ideal for large groups of people to have a good experience, while enjoying some live entertainment outside. They have live entertainment on occasions, and we just so happened to come on a day where they had open Karaoke outside (and as always, Margaritaville was the top hit). Whether you’re throwing washers with the boys or owning jumbo Jenga, the experience outside at Willie’s is unmatched with so much to do, and if you come with an appetite, their BBQ won’t disappoint and is sure to fill you up. Recognized as one of the top margaritas in town and plenty of drink options from both inside or at the outdoor bar, there is no doubt you can find a drink here that satisfies your sips--or gulps. 

Guys drinking at Willie's

Willie’s Joint


Buda, TX 78610

(512) 295-0483


Mon-Tue 2pm-1am 

Wed-Thur 11:30am-1am 

Fri-Sat 11:30am-2pm

Sun 11:30am-1am 

4. Growler Express Further down the strip, you’ll find this local taproom that works to serve local Texas breweries straight from the tap. They currently carry 24 taps that offer a unique variety of craft beers like (512) Brewing Company and SpindleTap Brewery. Invite your friends here to watch sporting games and events inside or compete with the collection of board games they offer (they even have dominoes). Everyone here is very conversational and friendly which helps to keep the bar vibe very laid back and open. This is a remarkable place to bring your friends to try top craft beers around Texas, while avoiding the large crowds of Austin taprooms. You can drink pints from the tap, in a can, or try multiple at once with flights. If you’re out during the day, you definitely want to invite some of your buddies out for a refreshing selection of beers to choose from at Growler!

Beer taps at Growler Express

Growler Express

1567 MAIN STREET #800

Buda, TX 78610

(512) 361-0911

Hours: Mon-Fri 4pm-10pm; Sat 2pm-10pm; Sun 2pm-9pm

5. Pinballz Kingdom Have you ever noticed a red dragon on top of a castle going up I-35 North? Well, it’s not just your imagination or a renaissance shop, it's actually an arcade! But not just any arcade either, Pinballz is an arcade designed for both the young and young at heart. With many classic game

Guys playing a beer pong game at Pinballz

machines from Space Invaders and Galaga to the newer generation of games -- and of course plenty of pinball machines -- there are more than enough games for your group to play while you’re here. They also have a full-service bar and kitchen, which kept us there playing games longer than we expected. Although the variety of top-notch games featured at Pinballz tends to be the highlight of this place, the food there is simply undeniable--not to mention they have earned recognition for the best burger in town. We got to try their Pulled Pork sandwich and The Kingdom Burger, but we all were so full that we had to take a minute to rest before testing out the arcade games.

Guys eating and laughing at Pinballz

Pinballz Kingdom

15201 S IH 35

Buda, TX 78610

(512) 523-4080

Hours: Sun-Thur 10am-12am; Fri-Sat 10am-2am

May 23

Welcoming Visitors Once Again: A Short History of the Stagecoach House

Posted to Historic Preservation in Buda by Gabriela Moore

When you walk through the double doors of the Historic Stagecoach House in Buda, TX surrounded by elements of decades leaving their mark, you step into an iconic structure of the 19th century. The now-enclosed dogtrot that serves as the foyer between two large rooms, was once a wide open breezeway looking out onto Onion Creek and the old stagecoach bridge. Your feet would sink into the earth below and the ceiling above revealed the strong cedar rafters that hold the roof above you. For a few short years the wind would kick up dirt in a whirlwind through the dogtrot until the 1880’s, when the Post Office would inevitably outgrow the tiny limestone building behind the cabin and T. E. McElroy would transform the stop into the home we see today.

View of Stagecoach House from the Main Street Side walk
Let’s go back a couple 100 years to post Civil war era America. Floods of people were moving to Texas, pushing more families into Hays County as Austin began to overflow (not at all familiar, right?) As a sign of the time period, access to mail was a key component to a thriving community. Post offices and stagecoach stops began popping up into Hays County in close proximity to the major highway of the time, Old San Antonio Road. Onion Creek held all the desired amenities for these stops--water to tend to the horses from a long journey, easy access to the major highway and safety from the treacherous country roads of the time known to be prone to flooding and rocky terrain. By the 1870’s, the county population had nearly doubled from the previous census and on April 3, 1875, the Onion Creek Post Office and Stagecoach House broke ground and George W. Waters was appointed as postmaster.

The post office would see a few short years of delivering mail, servicing horses, and hosting overnight travelers until the International and Great Northern Railroad would lay iron from Austin to San Antonio and Cornelia A. Trimble would sell her first commercial block of land to postmaster J.A. Chandler in 1881. Just a quarter mile from the post office and platted along the new railroad, Trimble would name her town Du Pre. It wouldn’t be until the around 1885 when Chandler moved the post office into town that the name would inevitably change to Buda at the command of the U.S. Postal Service after noting there is already a town named Du Pre in east Texas.

Newly vacated and surrounded by 234 acres of land, T.E. McElroy purchased the Onion Creek Post Office and Stagecoach House in the mid-1880’s. Within a few short years he View of heritage oak trees in front of the Stagecoach House in Historic Stagecoach Parkadded over 1,000 acres of land to his name and turned the old post office and stage stop into a ranching estate where he raised livestock and cultivated the fertile soil. With wealth and ambition on his side, McElroy transformed the rugged cabin into the elegant home we see today by enclosing the dogtrot, expanding the home and adding the luxuries one would expect in a home like flooring and a ceiling. Remnants of an old porch under what is now the back room point to a re-orientation of the front porch to look towards Loop 4 (Main Street) heading into a now thriving Buda and away from the abandoned stagecoach bridge.

Throughout the years as pieces of land were sold off, the home would continue to bare the markings of each decade with hand-hewn joists in the attic revealing its pre-railroad construction and french doors showcasing the the trend of the 1920’s when European styles reverberated throughout American homes. Though the home was renovated back to its circa 1920s appearance, one lasting mark of those who lived there in later years still exists in the west room. On the fireplace mantle you will find it to be painted blue with gold stars on either side and a gold arch enveloping the opening. It was dated by historians as a 1970’s style work-- a time when the house was rented out by owners Victor and Joe Stanzel to a group of college students in the artist community.

In 1998 the Stanzel Brothers Trust would transfer the 51 acre property to the City of Buda and the Stagecoach House would once again welcome travelers from far and wide as the Visitor Center for the thriving town of Buda.