Day Trips: Coyote Country Store, Gail: Beautiful Scenery and Great Food in Unique Outdoor Music Venue – Chronicles
Photos by Gerald E. McLeod
The Coyote Country Store in Gail, population 206, becomes a world famous destination.
It is a combination of elements that attract visitors to the Borden County location: beautiful scenery, good food and a unique outdoor music venue.
In 1992, Bertie copeland ran the popular grocery store / restaurant at the crossroads of US 180 and FM 669 about an hour south of Lubbock.
When Bertie died, her granddaughter Becky justice took over the local institution in a town where the biggest employers are the county and school district (come on Coyotes!).
A Christian singing group wanting to do a concert at the 30-seat café prompted Becky to offer the porch. Very quickly, the facade of the tin building had a stage, a roof and was surrounded by recycled wooden pallets.
“Pallets are like people,” Becky said. “No matter where they’ve been, no matter how they got here, how old they are… or how broken they are, when they come together they can do great things.”
At the rear is the famous open-air music hall with capacity for 1,200 people. The rows of tables and chairs are also fenced with pallets.
The music is supported by fans who come from Brady, Coleman, and Abilene, and sponsors who pay an annual subscription. What the sponsors get for their investment in this outpost for classic country bands is at least eight concerts and a reserved parking spot. In the pre-COVID years, Becky would book about 56 groups between March and November.
Coyote Country Store in Gail is surrounded by picturesque mesas like the Plains panhandle transition to the rolling plains. The café is open every day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fried fish Friday goes at 8 p.m. For the concert schedule, visit their Facebook page or call 806 / 756-4330.
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