Business Reviews

Gasoline Alley - A Great Day Trip to the Lake

Written by  April 30, 2004

Gasoline Alley is a great one-of-a-kind bar and restaurant if you want to slow down a bit, enjoy a little nostalgia, meet old friends, and make some new ones. It is an easy place to find, located on Main Street in downtown Warsaw, Missouri. The food is excellent, the beer is always cold and the staff works hard to satisfy every customer. The building has plenty of history, which the owner, Mac Vorce is more than willing to share with his customers. His father owned and operated the original Texaco gas station for many decades before retiring, and was an avid collector of items from those days.

Warsaw resides in a rural setting between Lake of the Ozarks and Truman Lake, which is surrounded by nature and great scenic roads that beckon to all motorcycle riders. I enjoy my rides down to Gasoline Alley, as it is only a short 100 miles from Kansas City, and there are numerous routes from which to choose. The Warsaw area has numerous small stores at which to shop, so make sure you come down with empty saddle bags, backpacks or bungee cords. I like riding around the nearby Truman Dam area, as I enjoy being around the water almost as much as I enjoy riding. If you’re riding two up, make sure your partner has the camera ready to shoot some pictures, as you will come upon many tremendous views of the lake and valleys. If you’d like to stay in the Warsaw area for the weekend or longer, the Warsaw Area Chamber of Commerce can suggest some hotels and campgrounds where you can hang your helmet.

After all that riding, stop by Gasoline Alley for something to eat and drink while listening to the jukebox. Set aside some time to play pool, darts or shuffleboard while those power shoppers in your group do a bit more shopping right outside the front door. Spend some time walking around the bar looking at the old gasoline station memorabilia from the 1920s – 1960s. The collection of oil cans, signs and old pump equipment is a vivid reminder of days gone by. In 2001, Mac merged the gasoline station and the old performing arts theatre building, built in 1903, into one establishment. The balcony, which hangs above the bar, is where the blues bands pour out their soul and music to the customers. You don’t have to sit close to the band, as the music reaches throughout the building. Mac has even placed several televisions throughout the bar and restaurant, ensuring everyone a view of the band. Beginning May 1st, there will be live music from 9 p.m. – 1 a.m. on the first Saturday of every month, with no cover charge.

A little about your host, Mac Vorce. In his younger days, Mac was a mechanic and had a passion for downhill mountain bike racing. He followed this dream for many years, eventually finding himself in Las Vegas, Nevada where he found himself leading more downhill mountain bikes tours than racing, which is when he decided to move to Kansas City. He eventually grew bored and restless with his life there and moved to Warsaw, where he could spend more time with his father. Once in Warsaw, he saw the opportunity to use the old Texaco gas station his father owned and the empty Theatre next door for a new business venture. Mac purchased the old Theater, made major changes and upgrades to both buildings and included all the old gas station memorabilia his father collected over the past several decades.

The end results of this adventure, was the restoration of a 1950’s Texaco gas station and the creation of Gasoline Alley. He selected the name based on it being an old gas station and the thought that most customers would enter and leave from the alleyway. However, this was not to be the case, as most customers come through the front door, right off Main Street. In mid-May, they will open their outdoor seating area for food and beverage service, which is also designed for people watching and sun worshiping!

Plan your next day or weekend road trip to visit Gasoline Alley, and I'm sure you'll enjoy the scenic two-hour ride from Kansas City or your own home town. You can call ahead for group reservations, and make sure to check out Gasoline Alley's web site for more information, including their great menu items. While you're there, say hi to Mac and don’t forget to tell him Cycle Connections sent you!

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