Back in the heyday of the horse and buggy, farmers throughout the Guadalupe River valley brought the bounty of their cotton fields for processing at the new-fangled water-wheel wonder of the Gruene cotton gin. The original gin was built way back in 1878. That gin was used until the wooden parts of the structure burned to the ground in 1922. Luckily, the three-story brick boiler room survived, which is where the REAL history was made, 55 years later.
Gristmill River Restaurant opened its doors in 1977, concocting steaks and hamburgers from a tiny kitchen in the corner of that same broiler room. Those thick slabs of juicy meat remain staples of the current upscale casual dining menu, but they’ve been joined by popular South Texas fare such as chicken fried steak, fried catfish, grilled chicken, Texas-sized sandwiches, fresh fish and Gristmill’s secret specialties — tomatillo chicken and bronzed catfish. Fudge pie, enormous strawberry shortcake, and our signature Jack Daniel’s Pecan Pie are popular picks for sweet-toothers, and it all washes down easy with a favorite from our beer cooler, wine list or hand-crafted cocktail menu.
Our multi-level restaurant features outdoor and indoor dining with views of the Guadalupe River, intimate dining rooms with native stone fireplaces, and indoor bar with wood burning stove, a relaxing beer garden and a merchandise store located in the bottom of the old water tower. The River Grove, added in 1998, is a refreshing bricked patio nestled in a grove of trees overlooking the river. Outfitted with 10 distinct dining areas, we can accommodate nearly any size party from an intimate dinner for two to a large group of 65 with ease.
The Gristmill was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 as part of Gruene Historic District. Be sure to check out the historic marker while you’re here!