I have awesome and exciting news to share! The dream of pursuing my writing and codependency coaching career by selling Johnny’s to someone who will honor not only it’s place in history, but it’s place in the community is finally coming true. My good friend Pete Lago, who has worked many motorcycle rallies at Johnny’s, will become its new owner on January 1st 2018. After 22 years I will be passing the torch to a trusted friend with a work ethic and dedication to excellence like no one else I know. I am ecstatic!

Pete goes way back with my family. I met him through my brother Jake in 2002. He helped us build the beautiful koi pond in my backyard and has helped me through numerous motorcycle rallies. He jumps in and does whatever I need help with and he gets the job done right. A man after my own heart, he is the perfect person to take over my legacy. Pete’s desire is to continue with our successful traditions, as well as embark on new ones that will make Johnny’s even better.

Twenty-two years is a very long time in the bar business and this old gal is tired. I’m thrilled that a man with a commitment to bring new energy to my historic bar will take it to the next level. I have no doubt that he will make Johnny’s even more of a desired stopping place than it already is.

Being a bucket list destination for bikers from all over the world as well as a hometown bar where everyone knows your name has been such an honor. I would never have made it through all of these years without my dedicated team. I will honor them and their contributions in future posts as my exit draws near.

Pete and I will be spending a lot of time together at the bar in the next two months. His arrival here from Maui is slated for early November. You know he’s dedicated to taking over Johnny’s. He’s leaving the beach, 365 days of sunshine and sold off his entire recording studio to come to Hollister.

He sold off his recording studio.

I will be teaching him the ropes from the time he lands here until I hand over the keys at midnight on January 1st 2018. It’s seems only fitting. That’s the way it happened for me in 1996. Dani tapped me on the shoulder while Tommy and I were enjoying our midnight dance and, quite unexpectedly, dropped the keys into my hand. At least Pete will see it coming. I also worked for Dani for two months before purchasing the bar and got to know all of the customers. They welcomed me with open arms and my prayer is that my customers will do the same for Pete.

Dani Merrill, who sold me Johnny’s, was there for me through the transition and taught me everything I know about payroll, taxes and the bookwork involved in running a bar. I was managing a bar when I was 19 and had worked in the industry for 15 years when I bought Johnny’s, but I had no experience with all of the bookwork. I also plan on being there for Pete as long as he needs me. I will, of course, come back to help him with the motorcycle rally until he feels competent to handle it without me.

I also look forward to helping him out as a bartender once in a while when someone is sick or needs a vacation. The idea of being a cameo bartender sounds like fun. Johnny’s has been an integral part of my life for a very long time and just walking away would be impossible. I look forward to introducing you all to my replacement and I have faith that everyone will help to make the transition as smooth as possible. My crew already knows Pete and his work ethic and is looking forward to working with him. I have no doubt they will offer their full support.

Stay tuned as I share some Johnny’s history and honor those that made my success possible.
God bless, Charisse


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4 Responses to Awesome and exciting news to share!

  1. Diana Holcomb says:

    Congratulations Charisse and Pete!!! I am so excited for the both of you!! This is awesome news!! If you need any assistance in the transition and beyond, I am here for you always!! Woohoo!!!

  2. brad carter says:

    You made the right choice, Peter Lago is a stand up guy, I helped him out with a gig here in Oregon while he was making life changes, everybody liked him, we have stayed in touch via face book after he moved to Maui, and having family in Calif, I look forward to visiting him in Hollister.

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Contact Information

Johnny’s Bar & Grill
526 San Benito Street
Hollister, CA 95023

Phone: (831) 637-3683
Email Us HERE

Johnny’s Hours

Mon to Sat   11 am – 9 pm
Sunday  Brunch 9 am
Sunday  Bar-B-Que 1 pm

Mon – Fri  11 am – 2 am
Sat  & Sun  9 am – 2 am

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