Strong pours, plan accordingly.
In Texas Hill Country northwest of San Antonio, small communities pop into and out of view quickly and Comfort, Texas, is no exception. Cocky Rooster Bar is the city’s primary dive bar drinking attraction, notable thanks to its location along the main road into and out of town as well as the massive, metal rooster that sits upon its roof. The spaces looks to be a renovated service station, or at least inspired by one, the perfect thematic match to its semi-rural surroundings.
Owner Wendy Jimenez purchased Cocky Rooster Bar after operating next door Hen House Café, witnessing the popularity of the bar for a year before purchasing the space and ultimately shuttering the restaurant. Officially founded in 2009, Cocky Rooster Bar sits just east of Comfort’s slightly more populous downtown center, making it feel very much like the side-of-the-road outpost that fits its interior and exterior style.
A massive metal awning sits over a concrete front patio that given all of Cocky Rooster Bar’s amenities is a bit underrated, the perch a perfect shade-protected spot to watch activity flowing into or out of Comfort. String lights, an overhead fan and metal seating make for comfortable surroundings here. Parking can be found in back where another outdoor space sits adjacent to the makeshift parking lot, dotted with picnic tables, porch swings, cornhole boards and the occasional rusted, hollowed-out vehicle covered in stickers.
The space inside is deceptively cavernous, tall ceilings and a very open floorplan creating a singular atmosphere despite the size of the space. A long bar runs along the back wall under sporadic decorations affixed to the cinder block walls. Small town drinking spots can sometimes be beer- and wine-only thanks to Texas law, but Cocky Rooster Bar packs a full array of liquor options, including a handful of signature drinks (the Coronarita is worth a try).
Tall tables fill in the space around the bar, a massive fan overhead to keep things cool during Texas’ relentless summer months. The bar’s dart board and video games take up a small alcove next to the bar underneath a series of mannequins showing off Cocky Rooster Bar merchandise options. Walls throughout the Texas Hill Country dive bar feature a classic array of beer brand neon and tin metal signage. A small Elvis shrine of sorts sits in the front corner of the space, complemented by mounted guitars and shrine-exclusive string lights.
As one would expect with a small town dive bar like Cocky Rooster Bar, multiple, communal events populate the weekly calendar including live music, karaoke, dart tournaments, poker tournaments, potlucks and anything else dreamt up by Jimenez and her regulars. One such regular, J.P. Rankin, otherwise known as the Cartoon Cowboy, has artwork featured in spots throughout the space. It was in the Cocky Rooster Bar that the Texas Independence Day celebration that eventually turned into divey, roadside attraction the Cartoon Saloon was planned by Rankin and friends.
From the shower curtains on the men’s room stalls to the service bay-like layout of the Cocky Rooster Bar’s interior, the overall atmosphere here is one of a converted, small town gas station in the best possible way. For those exploring Texas Hill Country, Cocky Rooster Bar scratches the itch of a classically Texan roadside stop.