Did you know there is a bar in the northland that has bike night year round and claims to have the coldest beer in town? Neither did we, until we ran into Karen Foster at this year’s Cycles N More bike show. Karen had her 2001 Harley-Davidson Sportster on display in the JC’s Sports Bar section of the show, and we took a photo of her and her bike, which made its way into the Cycles N More Bike Show article we published in our February issue.
A few days later I received an e-mail from Karen thanking us for including her photo in our magazine. After exchanging a few e-mails with Karen, I found out that Karen runs the show at JC’s Sports Bar in Claycomo, Missouri. Karen told me Cyco Graphics sponsors their bike night every Tuesday night and they have the coldest beer in town. She also told me they have drawings for lots of great biker-type prizes every Tuesday, and the last Tuesday of each month they give away a $25 gift certificate to Cyco Graphics, which is conveniently located just down the street.
The following Tuesday night I decided to check this place out for myself and find out if they did in fact have the coldest beer in town and if they really do have a year round bike night. When I first pulled into the parking lot I noticed a Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic sitting out front. It was pretty damn cold that evening, so I figured there was at least one biker there. I grabbed my camera and notepad and entered the bar.
When I first walked in, it looked like your typical neighborhood bar, but after my eyes adjusted to the dim lighting, I could tell this really was a biker bar. A large wooden motorcycle sat on a pedestal to the left, there were two pool tables in use, the jukebox was playing some good old fashioned biker blues, and almost everyone in the bar was wearing a Harley t-shirt.
Karen was working feverishly behind the bar, but took a few minutes to sit down and chat. Before we got down to business, Karen asked me if I wanted a beer. She grabbed me a Bud Light from behind the bar and when she handed me the bottle, I quickly realized, this is some damn cold beer! I asked her how they keep their beer so cold and she told me they keep it iced down 24/7. She also handed me a ticket stub for the door prizes and announced to the large crowd that the drawings were about to start.
I asked Karen what made JC’s so popular and she said, “Why don’t we just ask a few regulars?” First, she yelled at Chip to come over and tell me why he comes here. Chip said, “Everyone here is like family, plus, you can park your bike out front and not worry about anyone messing with it. Next, I was introduced to LA, who immediately stuck a bright orange Weasels sticker on my shirt and told me about her old man Gimp and the Weasels. LA also handed me her official Weasels business card that described the Weasels as “A Drinking Organization with a Motorcycle Problem.”
The Weasels are a social organization that was formed about seven years ago when Dave Mann, famed artist for Easyriders Magazine, moved back to Kansas City. Apparently, Dave and an old friend of his named Squirrel gave out 12 original Weasel shirts, and now there are more than 36 Rodents running around. The Weasels have been friends for more than 20 years, and to become a Rodent, you have to hang out with them for at least a year or so. LA informed me that Squirrel wasn’t able to make it tonight, but I’m sure I’ll run into him sometime, which sounds like the making of another interesting story.
I was also introduced to Hillbilly, who braved the weather that night and rode the Ultra Classic that was parked outside. Karen also introduced me to Mary, Cissy, and numerous other patrons. I also met Rick who sat down at my table and told me that he had known Karen since the age of ten.
Steve Lauderback, owner of Clay County Choppers & Machine Works, introduced himself and told me his new bike shop would be opening in May. I told Steve to give me a call when they opened the doors and I’d drop by for a visit.
Karen then started drawing tickets out of a fish bowl and giving away several nice prizes including hats, coffee cups and t-shirts sporting the names, Harley-Davidson, West Coast Choppers, Orange County Choppers, as well as Cyco Graphic’s own line of t-shirts. About that time, Bill Young, owner of Cyco Graphics came in and sat down across the table from me. Karen quickly introduced us and I asked Bill to tell me about his business. Cyco Graphics is best known in Kansas City for Bill’s outstanding custom paint jobs, which he has been creating for over 51 years. Cyco Graphics also offers custom fabrication, service work, inspections, and a full line of parts, accessories and apparel for Harley-Davidson, Asian Cruisers, ATVs and dirt bikes.
I told Bill that I’d like to drop by and see some of his work, so he invited me to stop by any time. Any time came sooner than expected, because the next day I gave Bill a call at his shop and dropped in on him. Make sure to check out our article on Cyco Graphics in this month’s issue.
Every 15-20 minutes, Karen would yell out another ticket number, and although I never officially won anything, Karen must have felt sorry for me because she brought be a Cyco Graphics coffee cup and a JC’s Sports Bar t-shirt. The only catch was that if I wanted the t-shirt I’d have to put it on right there in front of everyone. It was a pretty nice t-shirt, so I figured if everyone didn’t mind seeing my fish belly skin for a few seconds as I slipped off my shirt and put on the t-shirt what the hell. I made the switch as quickly as possible, and someone even tucked a dollar bill in my pants as I danced around trying to get the t-shirt on.
About that time, Karen yelled out “upside down shots” as she made her way around the bar with a large bottle of alcohol and a bar towel. She picked several people out of the crowd, had them tilt their head back, put the towel over the front of their shirt, and then proceeded to pour the drink down their throat until they gave the official hand waving sign that they’d had enough. This went on for several minutes until the bottle was completely empty. I can tell you one thing…this is one wild little place filled with fun people!
Before leaving, I also had the pleasure of meeting Cissy Garcia, and Sondra Smith. Sondra Smith is the office administrator at David Lee Wells Law Office, and she told me to give them a call if I ever needed a good attorney. I told Sondra that since I’d only had one beer tonight I thought I’d be able to make it home OK, but I’d stick it in my wallet for future reference.
You can probably tell from this article that JC’s Sports Bar lived up to their reputation as having the coldest beer in town and their Tuesday bike nights are an event you don’t want to miss!
So the next Tuesday night you and your buddies are out cruising around, drop by JC’s Sports Bar at 6135 NE Vivion Road and tell Karen that Mike sent ya!
Story and photos by Mike Schweder