Tommy and I December 31st 1995

Tommy and I December 31st 1995

I am amazed at how fast the years have flown by. This year will be my 20th New Year’s Eve celebration at Johnny’s. Before I know it I will be preparing for my 20th Saint Patrick’s Day, Palm Sunday Bike Blessing, Fourth of July and so on and so on. Thankfully it will be my 15th motorcycle rally if you include the pre-rally of 1996. That, too, was an amazing gathering and the year I got to meet Wino Willie who, along with his Boozefighter friends put Hollister and Johnny’s Bar and Grill on the map in 1947. I am blessed and humbled to be kicking off my 20th year as this iconic bar’s owner.

A customer gave us a cushy toilet seat for the ladies room at our grand opening party.

A customer gave us a cushy toilet seat for the ladies room at our grand opening party.

I am always had an affinity for history. As my memoir Miracles and Grace in an Unlikely Place / Memoir of a Christian Woman Biker Bar Owner attests to, I had no idea what a tremendous place in history Johnny’s held when I purchased it. I knew it had been an integral part of Hollister for many years, was a favorite watering hole for the county’s farmers as well as its politicians, and was well known for its great burgers and steaks. The year before I bought it, its name had been changed to It’s Showtime, and I knew that would not do. Everyone in town continued to call it Johnny’s and reestablishing it as such was the first thing on my to-do list. In retrospect I know that it was one of the most important things that I would ever do for Johnny’s Bar & Grill.

Johnny's before we started making our changes. robin and Cole Fortney and others continued to be great customers.

Johnny’s before we started making our changes. Robin and Cole Fortney and others continued to be great customers.

When I learned of the 1947 July Fourth weekend riots and the Boozefighters that rode their motorcycles into my bar during the fracas, I was thrilled to have purchased such a historical entity. I made it my business to acquire as much knowledge about the fateful event as possible. I became a champion for our annual motorcycle rally, fighting to have and retain it in front of more city officials than I can count. Not just for Johnny’s, but for Hollister as a whole. I have always believed that Hollister needed to embrace its place in history. I am thankful and proud that our current mayor Ignacio Velasquez and council members Ray Friend, Pauline Valdivia, Victor Gomez, and Robert Scattini saw the value in it also and voted to give it the green light for ten years in September of 2013. No previous council had given our iconic rally such a vote of confidence. It was a much needed commitment to an annual event that will help it to flourish.

The 1997 rally blew us away.

The 1997 rally blew us away.

Johnny’s has always been hugely blessed by our rally but the event has had its hiccups and I don’t think we’ve seen it at its true potential since 2005. With Dave Westrick, (a man who truly understands the benefits of the rally to our community) as our commander in chief, things can only get better. The Hollister Downtown Association, who is handling the rally now, is committed to putting the right people in the right places to make our rally the best one in the country and I believe that we will see that happen.

I’d like to thank everyone that has supported me the past nineteen years. Tommy and I have made so many wonderful friends through our business. Wonderful patrons who supported us through the good times as well as the tough ones have blessed us beyond belief. The days ahead can only be better. Tommy has been sober for more than nine years. So long that many of our clientele don’t know the man he was, only the one that he has become. Our economy is improving and the long term guarantee of a Hollister Motorcycle Rally adds to our prosperous future. We have a wonderful, dedicated, conscientious, and talented cook who promises to delight customers old and new with his new creations as well as our famous burgers and steaks.

God is so good. I look forward to celebrating my 20th New Years Eve with many of you and a wonderful 2015 with my Johnny’s family.

God bless you all. We love you, Charisse and Tommy

God bless you all. We love you, Charisse and Tommy

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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

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

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

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