fire truck at johnny's

“The bar is not on fire,” my son Allen said every time he answered his phone. We were on the way to San Jose to shop for the bar when I got a call from my bartender. There was a faint smell behind the bar like something was burning but she and my cook could not figure out where it was coming from. There was no smoke, just an odor that spelled of trouble somewhere. I suggested that she give PG&E a call and see if they could send someone out to look around. I knew my husband was working out at the YMCA and would be there for an hour. I didn’t think we should wait that long to investigate the problem. PG&E told her that we should call the fire department. I called the non-emergency number in hopes that the issue could be looked into without a big ruckus. What followed was more like a three-ring-circus.

I tried to explain to the dispatcher that there was no eminent danger; we just wanted to find the source of the smell. When she asked if we’d evacuated the building I knew we were in trouble. “No we haven’t evacuated the building,” I told her. “There is no fire.” I’d made the mistake of saying that the smell was like burning wire, which my son pointed out was the wrong thing to say. So instead of a low-key inspection, within minutes we had what looked like most of Hollister’s fire department in front of Johnny’s, blocking off all of San Benito Street.

It wasn’t long before Facebook lit up like a Christmas tree with stories of Johnny’s demise. Allen’s phone blazed with phone calls from concerned parties. His phone was hotter than the bar. Cheryle and Steve waited calmly as the firefighters searched for the source of the smell and it turned out to be a bad electrical cord that was plugged into a beer cooler. By the time they figured it out we had the Health Department and Code Enforcement on the scene. Thankfully, the fire department was fine with us staying open as long as we didn’t plug the beer cooler back in until the wiring was fixed. Beer was iced down and business carried on as usual.

bad wiring

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not making light of what could have happened. If the wire started smoldering when the bar was not open it could have ignited and started a nasty fire. I am so grateful for God’s protection over the bar and our lives. We’ve seen quite a few miracles at Johnny’s and I’m going to count this little situation among them.

I’d like to thank the firefighters who responded like lightning. By the time I hung up with dispatch and called Cheryle to let her know they were headed her way, the fire truck was already in front of the bar. I want to thank all of you wonderful customers that were so concerned about your second home. We are all deeply touched. A huge thank you goes out to Terry Allen; our electrician friend who got to Johnny’s in a hurry and took care of the wiring situation. We are very blessed with wonderful customers and friends. Feel free to come down for karaoke tonight to see for yourself that all is well at Johnny’s.


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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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