THE WOODLANDS, Texas — This Hidden Gem really sticks out.
"It's a barn from Kentucky, a tobacco barn from the 1850s," explained Stephen Said, owner of the Dosey Doe Big Barn. "We took it apart, put it on the back of a flatbed truck like a bunch of Lincoln logs, shipped it down and then re-raised it."
Now, the historic barn sits along I-45 in The Woodlands.
"We wanted to have a little place for coffee that was different than Starbucks," Said said. "I couldn’t think of anything more different than an original barn."
As Said, his wife and crew were putting the finishing touches on the building, the longtime lyricist had a thought: "This room probably would sound pretty good with music in it." Turns out, he was right.
The calendar really filled up after singer BJ Thomas performed there.
"He started telling everyone he knew that was in the music business, ‘Have you been to Dosey Doe yet?’" Said recalled. "Now, we have artists who come in all the time who never play for less than 3,000 people and they’re playing in our room of 400 just because of the room.
The walls of the barn are lined with black-and-white photos highlighting some of the many artists who’ve played here, like Wynonna Judd.
"Wynonna has played here many times now," Said said .
So have up-and-coming stars.
"Parker McCollum had his first show ever in this room. Had his CD release party in this room," Said shared. "Now he’s going to be the star, the opening act of the Houston Rodeo 2023. That’s pretty darn cool."
The seating at Dosey Doe's Big Barn isn't what you’d normally associate with a concert. That’s because it doesn’t just serve up five-star artists, show tickets come with a five-star dinner.
"We actually build the menu on what’s available, what’s in season and who’s on stage," said Said.
If you’re looking for something on a smaller scale, you can find it at a different Dosey Doe location off Research Forest Drive.
"It’s a live music venue. It’s a bar that has more award-winning whiskeys than any other bar in Texas. We produce our own coffee and our own BBQ sauce," Said said.
That spot, which Said lovingly refers to as DDBBBQWB, is the Dosey Doe Breakfast, Barbecue and Whisky Bar. A couple months ago, he added speakeasy to that list.
"The speakeasy can only be entered through and by a password and through a very special and secret passageway," said Said.
The Stag Speakeasy is a blast from the past, full of Prohibition-era furniture and art. Even the vintage radios have been converted to modern speakers, playing – what else – jazz.
"As much as we kinda wanted to keep it on the down low, c’mon.," Said said. "As soon as you see the space, you talk about the space and the next thing you know, people say, ‘I want to have a party there.'"
There’s space for that here too.
So next time you drive by that old-timey barn on the freeway, maybe you'll remember the story of how a would-be coffee shop turned into an iconic music venue.
"I have this philosophy that ignorance and innocence will get you a long way in this world," Said laughed.