When you’re halfway between here and there, you’re midway; and hopefully at the Midway Bar and Grill in Lake Lotawana.
This is a true biker bar. Yes, I know we have it listed here under “Bike Nights,” but this is really just a good old fashioned biker bar where you can always find some bikes out front, no matter what day it is. And that’s the way owners Chris and Jerry Bowlin like it. A biker couple who owns a bar, complete with Harley parts hanging from the ceiling. Life just doesn’t get any better for this old road dog!
After being laid off from a 30 plus year job in engineering, Jerry decided four years ago to buy a local bar his friends could ride to and have a cold one. And we’re sure glad he did! Being a bit old school, Jerry and Chris have watched the biker trend move into fat tires, tons of billet aluminum and the fact that no one wrenches on their own ride anymore. But being true bikers, they welcome one and all on two wheels. Jerry owns two special construction Harleys (1979 and 2000) he built himself, and his wife, Chris, rides a 1990 FXR. Over the years, Jerry has shown and placed in many events, including the “World of Wheels” and “Easyrider” bike shows. Jerry welcomes newbies and veterans alike when it comes to asking technical questions about their ride, which is free for the asking; just don’t expect the same for the booze.
Bartenders, Pam and Nancy, serve up ice cold beers and pour a wicked drink, and I’m told they’re just as wicked as the drinks they pour. If you’re lucky, you’ll even find Chris behind the bar pouring a cold one. She won’t hesitate to tell you, “It still takes a little getting used to, being on the other side of the bar.” If it’s your first time at the Midway, that means you’re a cherry, and if you let the girls know you’re a virgin, you’ll get one of Jerry’s special cherries to jump-start your visit. You can always find Mack Daddy on the grill firing up some killer vittles for your hunger pains, as well as some awesome food specials, like gigantic pork tenderloin, dollar hot dogs and smoked chicken; that’s if someone remembers to choke it.
The Midway is open from 11 a.m. ‘til 10 p.m. or later, seven days a week. Or later? Bottom line; if you’re having fun, they’ll stay open ‘til you’re done, until you’re out of money, or until 1 a.m. rolls around, whichever comes first. Happy Hour is between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays. Domestic beers are two dollars and fufu beers like Corona and Sam Adams are just three bucks. On Sundays, which have been designated as “Bike Day” (not nights), Miller beers will cost you only a buck fifty. There’s also plenty of bike parking and places to sit outside and hang out. A pool table and darts can also be found to round out your visit, with the jukebox cranking out your favorite biker tunes.
If the weather is cooperating, for your cleanliness and viewing pleasure Tammy and Makala will be washing bikes, cars, or whatever you’re riding in or on. As you can tell by the photos below, this mother and daughter team is into good clean fun. Boy Howdy!
So anytime you’re halfway between here and there, stop in at the Midway and grab a cold one, some grub, and just kick it with some laid back people in a great biker bar you’ll want to keep riding back to.
The Midway Bar & Grill is located at 27906 E. Colbern Road in Lake Lotawana, Missouri.
Story and photos by Wayne Thompson