Sunday, February 10, 2008

What's Makes a Biker Bar?

There's a popular biker bar here in Southern California that's being boycotted by at least one riding club.

About a year back, several members of this riding club showed up on a busy weekend afternoon, and asked the server write up separate checks for everyone. When she informed them that separate checks was against their policy, an argument broke out.

The owner was called in, and he reaffirmed the policy, no separate checks. The club also complained about the attitude of the server. The owner defended his server, and that brought about a more heated argument. The "discussion" concluded with the owner making a comment about the girth of one of their female members' butt.

Some of the members of the club left in disgust and vowed never to return, and went on several motorcycle web forums to describe what happened, and urged everyone to join the boycott.

One on hand, you can argue that a biker bar is still a business that needs its customers, and it should take on a "the customer is always right" attitude. On the other hand, this is exactly what a biker bar is.

Look at any other biker bar, and if you were to complain that they wouldn't write up separate checks, or if the server gave you some attitude, do you really think you're going to get sympathy from others?

Like one of my friends said, if you want fast service with a smile, then go to McDonald's and get a Happy Meal. No one goes to a biker bar so that they can feel special.

The way this biker bar handled the situation is exactly how I would have expected them to handle it. If this were a Starbucks, I would have expected a different outcome.

I don't know of any biker bar that kisses your ass.

The real test is if this biker bar loses business over this, and so far it hasn't had much effect. Construction on the highway on which this establishment is located is having a greater effect. Either people are taking the attitude that they haven't been disrespected by this place, or that they love the hard-nosed service they get.

So what makes a biker bar? Aside from a great location, cold beer and good food, it's the clientele, or rather, lack of a certain clientele. You don't want to hang out some place where kids are running around, and where you have to refrain from foul language and be on your best behavior. In other words, you want a bar that scares most people away so that you can be yourself and be free from the non-riding public. That's why biker bars are what they are.

Otherwise, you'd just go to a TGI Fridays and enjoy shiny happy service.


  1. I think separate checks is very important but I'm not about to argue with the estabilishment over their policy. I definitiely don't want to have to figure out who owes what and you would not find me returning to this establishment on a group ride.

  2. What makes a Biker Bar?

    From what I've observed, its the amount of respect bikers can receive there.
    If the customers and staff show respect...its on.
    If not...they are out, and youll know they are leaving.


About Steve

A vagabond who hauls a motorcycle around the country in a toy hauler, earning a living as a website developer. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, craft beer, and/or public nudity. (Read more...)