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Kobi's Club and Deli

Written by  October 31, 2003

All week long, I’d been looking forward to Tuesday evening October 7th because I was planning on riding over to Kobi’s Club & Deli in Bonner Springs, Kansas for their weekly bike night. I’d been to Kobi’s before on a poker run, but tonight I was headed there to do a bike night review for our magazine. I figured if I was lucky, I could do a quick interview with the owner, chat with a few fellow riders and take a couple photos before sitting back and relaxing the rest of the evening.

It was cold and damp evening as I headed out, and as soon as I hit I-435 I ran into some heavy traffic due to road construction. I decided to bail out and take the back roads instead, which suited me just fine because I’ll take a nice curvy, less traveled back road any day over riding on the highway. Since my scenic and slightly longer route took a little longer than I’d originally planned, I arrived there right at dusk. I could see there were several great looking bikes scattered throughout the parking lot, which I’d have liked to have taken a closer look at, but since it was already getting dark and the wind was picking up, I figured I’d just head inside.

If you’ve never been there, Kobi’s has a large deck that takes over the complete front of the building, which is a great place to hang out, people watch and check out the bikes. As I walked up to the door, I could just catch a hint of food cooking inside and thought to myself that maybe I should eat first, before conducting my review.

The inside of Kobi’s is laid out for partying. There’s a place for the band, a dance floor, and a nice long wraparound bar with plenty of tables for seating. There’s also a large mirror running the length of the bar, which makes the reflection a great place for people watching as well while you chat with the lady bartenders. As I walked through the bar I spotted one open barstool. After making sure I wasn’t taking anyone’s seat, I decided that a cold one and some hot food would hit the spot, and asked one of the fine-looking bartenders for a beer and a menu.

The beer came quickly and was ice cold. It didn’t take long to down the first one so I ordered another one and asked to speak with the owner. The bartender looked a little startled, so I assured her there was nothing she did wrong and that I just wanted to introduce myself to the owner and maybe get a quick impromptu interview. Before long, the owner came over and introduced herself as Vicki. I explained to her that I was with Cycle Connections Online Motorcycle Magazine and if she had a little time to talk, I’d like to interview her for a bike night review article I was working on. Vicki was very helpful and even posed for a photo with her bartenders as they raised a shot, which the guys at the bar really seemed to enjoy as well.

I then spent some time talking with a few of Vicki’s customers and fellow riders. Most were a little shy about having their photo taken so my camera didn’t get much of a workout that evening. I spoke for a while with a rider named Reno, who had stopped by on his way to work. He rides a real nice 2003 Wide Glide, and although he was battling a flu bug, it didn’t keep him from riding. Since it was a slow night due to the weather, I asked Vicki when she thought would be a good time for me to stop back by to see the real Kobi’s in action. She said that if I could make it back on Saturday, October 25th there was something special happening that night. As it turns out, Kobi’s was the last stop and one of the sponsors for the “Panhead Stan” Hensley Memorial Run. Kobi’s was not only a sponsor, but Vicki was planning on holding a customer appreciation day in conjunction with the ride, with free food and music.

It sounded like too good of a thing to pass up, so on Saturday, October 25th I went back to check it out. The day was crisp, with a hint of blue skies and a gentle breeze; perfect weather for a charity ride. When I arrived, riders were just getting there from the run. I met some great people, including Gene, Dean, Bart, Laura and Bruce who also gave me a lead on another watering hole they like to frequent in their hometown of Lawrence. If things go as planned, I’ll try to ride out to Lawrence on Veterans Day to check things out.

Wave after wave of riders continued to flow into Kobi’s as the waitresses met the challenge with a smile and a bit of humor. The food was delicious, and I just had to take a photo of Kobi’s great cook as he did a great job working away over a large grill that was setup outside. There was a 50-50 drawing and several great items were auctioned off to help support the family of “Panhead Stan.” The crowd mixed well and a great time was had by all as it appeared that many riders ran into old riding buddies they hadn’t seen in a long time. Some riders even came across bikes they previously owned and you could tell from the grin on their faces it must have dug up some great memories. There were plenty of great looking bikes, and the parking lot was full of everything from sport bikes to cruisers. There were also a couple of guys who had ridden their older Harleys in from Leavenworth, one with a suicide shifter, both with the traditional oil leaks and all - brought back many good memories.

I can honestly tell you that Kobi’s is a great place to grab a cold one, a bite to eat and hang out with friends. Everyone is friendly, parking is great, and scenic Highway 7 is only a stone’s throw away. Vicki, you have a great place, and thanks for showing me around. I’ll be back soon, and the rest of you should take a ride out to Kobi’s and don’t forget to tell Vicki that Bart sent you.

Bart

Ride Free