Day Trips: Coyote Country Store, Gail

Beautiful scenery and good food at a unique outdoor music venue

Photos by Gerald E. McLeod

The Coyote Country Store in Gail, population 206, is becoming a world-renowned destination.

It's a combination of things that are attracting visitors to the Borden County seat: beautiful landscape, good food, and a unique outdoor music venue.

Back in 1992, Bertie Copeland ran the popular grocery store/diner at the crossroads of U.S. 180 and FM 669 about an hour south of Lubbock.

When Bertie passed away, her granddaughter Becky Justice took over the local institution in a town where the largest employers are the county and the school district (go Coyotes!).

A Christian singing group wanting to do a concert at the 30-seat cafe prompted Becky to offer the front porch. Pretty soon the front of the tin building had a stage, a roof, and was enclosed with recycled wood 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, when they come together, they can do great things."

Out back is the famous outdoor music venue that can seat 1,200. The rows of tables and chairs are fenced in with pallets, too.

The music is supported by fans who drive in 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 space. In pre-COVID years, Becky would book around 56 bands between March and November.

Coyote Country Store in Gail is surrounded by scenic mesas as the Panhandle Plains transition into the Rolling Plains. The cafe opens daily from 10am to 2pm. Fish Fry Friday goes to 8pm. To find the concert schedule, go to their Facebook page or call 806/756-4330.

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Coyote Country Store, Gail, Borden County, Lubbock, Bertie Copeland, Becky Justice, Panhandle Plains, Rolling Plains

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