Things to Do

Who Was Frank Schlather and Why Should You Celebrate His Birthday?

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Tony Maples Photography


When Gruene Hall was purchased by Pat Molak in 1975,  Molak had a feeling that he was sitting on a truly unique place. Molak had a vision for the hall as a starting point for many up-and-coming performers and the heart of Gruene. What Molak didn’t bargain for was the man that came along with the purchase of Gruene Hall.

Who was Frank Schlather?

Frank Schlather

Photo: Facebook/GrueneHallTx

Frank Schlather, lived across the street from Gruene Hall (in the still-standing, pink Victorian home with the front porch) and already had his own key to the place when Molak took ownership. Living across the street afforded Schlather the opportunity to be a regular at Gruene Hall, enjoying good music and cold beer almost every day.

Frank Schlather made a living as a saddle tree maker at Hadlock and Fox Saddle Tree Manufacturing Company that was in the two-story brick building right across from Gruene Hall at that time. He was known for not only his interesting face but also his big heart and legendary dancing skills. Word has it that he’d ask every girl at Gruene Hall to dance before the night was over and that he was seldom turned down.

The Unofficial “Mayor” of Gruene

Gruene Hall
Photo: Facebook/GrueneHallTx

When Molak found himself in need of someone to help out around the hall, he entrusted Frank with the responsibility of letting the janitors into the building early on Saturday and Sunday mornings, since he had a key and lived across the street. While Schlather was usually punctual to a fault, there were a few occasions when Molak arrived to find that Frank was sleeping off a wild night on one of the hall’s pool tables. Luckily, those incidents were few and far between and Molak got quite a laugh out of Schlather’s occasional antics.

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