For almost two decades, seven friends have gathered along San Jacinto Boulevard, across from Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium, to tailgate in epic style. Along with a few dozen friends, family and the occasional passerby, Geoffrey and Helen Gilbert, Carole and Craig Dale, Susan and Jeff Wise and Kevin Pape celebrate every single UT football home game with full amenities, including satellite television, catered meals, a full bar and, of course, a large screen for watching the game.
As the adults mingle under tents and sip drinks, kids throw a ball around, acting out their own football fantasies. The hosts can be recognized by the matching shirts they wear, monogrammed with funny nicknames and fake titles like "Head Honcho." At night, the large star light in the center of the main tent can be switched on to allow guests to finish watching the game under a dreamy glow.
Dalegate, named after Carole and Craig Dale, began 19 years ago when the fourth-generation Longhorns wanted to keep their friends connected after college ended and they began careers and having families. "It was about keeping the party going," explains Helen Gilbert. "This is our family."
Unlike most tailgates, there's a lot more than hot dogs and hamburgers here. At Dalegate, guests can look forward to everything from pad Thai to venison to a full roast pig. Thirsty? Head over to the award-winning bartender, who specializes in gourmet Bloody Marys (they brought him in as a special treat last year).
But gourmet food and fabulous cocktails aside, Dalegate is about warmth and welcoming. Expect a Jell-o shot and a hearty handshake to greet you as walk in. Look forward to hearing stories, telling jokes — and maybe even watching a little football.