Johnny’s Bar & Grill

Established in 1946

Johnny Matalich bought The New Deal in 1946 and changed the name to Johnny’s Bar & Grill. Farmers and business men packed the place for the greasy cheese burgers and steaks at lunch time and afternoons were quite lively.

The hard working farmers and cowboys loved the camaraderie they found at Johnny’s and 70 plus years and roughly ten owners later it still exists.

In 1947 Wino Willie and his Boozefighter’s came to Hollister for the Fourth of July Gypsy Tour Races. They cut loose in town after the races and one the guys drove through Johnny’s on his motorcycle. 

With a population of 4500, Hollister was taken off guard when the influx of somewhere between 2500 and 4000 motorcyclists rolled into town. With a lot of post war steam to blow off, the raucous bikers staged drunken drag races as well as wheelie and burnout displays in the middle of San Benito Street ignoring the sanctioned races taking place at Memorial Park.

Local citizens lined the sidewalks to witness the shenanigans and it wasn’t long before the five man police force was overwhelmed. They were a little rowdy but the mayhem that was depicted in the July 1947 issue of Life Magazine exaggerated the event. 

This article in turn inspired the 1953 movie The Wild Ones with Marlon Brando and Lee Marvin… Thus the Biker culture was born. The Boozefighters have made it a point to come back to Johnny’s for the fourth of July weekend ever since.



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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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