New Braunfels Entertainment: The Phoenix Saloon


The Phoenix Saloon was originally established in 1871 and was the first bar in Texas to serve women. The ladies rang a bell in the beer garden for service as it would not be proper for them to enter the bar.

In 1894, William Gebhardt, owner of the cafe in the back of the saloon, devised the first process to crush and dry fresh chilis thereby inventing chili powder. Their chili, made with sirloin and their special house blend of spices, was featured on The Food Network.

There was an alligator pit and badger fights, live music on Saturday nights, and a parrot on a perch inside the front door taught to say “Have you paid your bill!?” in German.

During the Prohibition era, the Phoenix Saloon’s basement served as a forbidden brewery and tunnels were built underground to distribute beer throughout the streets of downtown. In 1922, it was turned into a department store, with a refrigerated water fountain that was always proudly nonracial and unsegregated.

In March 2010 after 2 years of renovation, the Phoenix rose again as an historic Texas bar, chili parlor, karaoke and live music venue.

193 W. San Antonio St, New Braunfels, TX 78130