Horny Toad Cafe & Bar offering live music shows for patrons

Denton's Horny Toad

Article Originally Published by Connor Elliott on North Texas Daily

As night draws near, the hot summer evening is broken by a strong, cool breeze while a cover of Kid Rock’s “All Summer Long” echoes through the wind, and a father dances with his daughter.

This is what attendees at Denton’s Horny Toad Café & Bar experienced on June 26 while enjoying Texas comfort food and margaritas. Dallas-based band The Lost Cause provided Friday night’s entertainment with a variety of cover songs from multiple artists.

This was The Lost Cause’s first show at Horny Toad since its move to North Texas sometime after the restaurant first began showcasing live music in 2018. Following the order by Gov. Greg Abbott allowing businesses to reopen at 50 percent capacity, Horny Toad slowly resumed live performances on Friday, May 29, 2020.

“For the safety of our staff and guests we were closed from March 20 to May 2, and we have been tentative in starting back live music being careful we could maintain social distancing,” owner Tim Trawick said. “There is no limitations on the capacity for the patio but we have removed furniture so that we could maintain 6-feet distancing between tables.”

Patrons dined on an array of Texas meals from sourdough chicken fried steak to char-grilled burgers, while drinking spicy jalapeño margaritas.

“The sourdough chicken fried steak I found in the National Cowboy Hall of Fame cookbook by B. Byron Price,” said Trawick. “The rest of the recipes are a collaboration of myself, my partners, family, and others.”

Customers continued to follow social distancing orders, with some restaurant-goers eating and drinking in between wearing their mask. Despite the reopening of a few of the local businesses, some of the attendees have yet to return to a sense of normalcy before the pandemic.

“We don’t really go out a lot, like maybe once a week,” said Rachel Torres, customer and former employee at Horny Toad. “We were hungry, we wanted a drink, and we wanted to see a cool band.”

The performers of the night, The Lost Cause, originally got its start in Houston before founder, vocalist and guitarist Austin Allen moved to Dallas, while retaining the same name.

“I moved to Dallas for a job opportunity and started the current band about a year and a half ago,” Allen said. “Luckily, my old band mates were cool with me and my new band carrying on the name.”

The band has faced troubles in booking and performing at shows since the pandemic began, but in keeping with social distancing laws they’ve been able to perform once more at Horny Toad.

“We have had to cancel 11 different shows now due to COVID-19,” Allen said. “We had the ball rolling and were coming off a performance at the House of Blues in Dallas, so obviously having to stop and cancel shows was a real bummer. Luckily, we all have normal day jobs, so we can’t complain too much about the pandemic, or at least not any more than anyone else.”

The event itself was relatively subdued, and didn’t exceed the set capacity, with most of the clientele outside on the patio rather than inside. Earlier that day, Gov. Abbott ordered bars to close down due to increased cases of COVID-19, but allowed businesses like Horny Toad that sold alcohol to remain open due to its classification as a restaurant.

“Our only plan is to take things day by day,” Trawick said. “We try to operate as best we can, while honoring recommended guidelines and maintaining as safe [an] environment as possible for our staff and guests.”

Featured image: Courtesy Horny Toad Café & Bar

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Source: North Texas Daily