Steve Macey is speeding into the summer season with his new Hardtails Bar and Grill in downtown Sisters and the word is spreading fast.
Macey and his wife, Darcy are the new owners of Hardtails which opened last month, occupying the same space vacated last December by Scoots Bar and Grill, and while some of it may seem familiar, there are many changes taking place that will boost its image and appeal.
“I really want locals to feel welcome and comfortable here and know this is their place,” he said. ”Giving customers great food and service at reasonable prices is my goal. Before I opened up I talked to a lot of people in town and asked them what they wanted. First thing they said was “let the kids come back in” and we did. So Hardtails is now family friendly. Scoots was “21 and Over” only and so we changed all the signs. Kids are allowed in the restaurant area, game rooms and the outside Smokehouse Corral, anywhere but at the bar itself.”
Macey is a native Oregonian who grew up in Southwestern Washington and now resides in Bend. He and his wife were looking for a spot to open a business and were fortunate enough to find their new location in Sisters available.
“I was semi-retired and had experience in the restaurant business and management and had always wanted to own my own bar,” he said.
To freshen up the interior, Hardtails brought in two regulation-size pool tables, electronic dart boards, a hi-tech internet juke box and built a new live-music stage in the rear. There is also karaoke every Wednesday and Saturday nights as well as live entertainment every other weekend. Video slot and poker machines are returning after the paperwork and contacts are signed with the state in upcoming months.
During the summer, Macey plans on setting up his new HD projector with its 10X12-foot screen outdoors in the Smokehouse Corral for Family Movie Nights where customers can come have snacks or a burger and sit out on a blanket or lounge chairs and enjoy a popular film.
Foodwise, the menu is a fusion of traditional pub fare and hearty steak favorites. ”Kick Starter” appetizers include Coconut Shrimp ($7.95), Mini Corn Dogs without the sticks ($4.95) and Steak Bites ($7.95). For lunch, Hardtails wants to be known for their Buffalo Chili and huge burgers all themed for famous motorcycle engines like the Shovelhead, Panhead, Knucklehead, and the Fat Boy, an enormous concoction which piles on peppered bacon, ham, fried egg, peppers, onions, mushrooms and choice of cheese. All burgers come with fresh hand-cut fries and is the only establishment in town offering fires prepared that way, dinners feature an 8oz Sirloin, 12oz New York strip or grilled BBQ chicken breast starting at $12.95. Food choices are constantly changing and Macey is open to suggestions for future dishes.
And for Italian cuisine lovers, Hardtails presents “Spaghetti and Meatball Night” every Friday evening at 5pm with guest chef Ray Tramondo, formerly of Tramondo’s Trattoria which operated for years at the same site.
“Ray will be coming in and cooking up his classic spaghetti dinner with a house salad, garlic bread and a glass of Chianti all for $14.95,” Macey said. ”We really hope this catches on and if it’s successful he’s open to expanding and offering more dishes. A lot of people miss his cooking and this is another way of saying welcome back to the community and a nice reason to get the family out for something different.”
Rodeo Weekend, for the first time ever in Sisters, Hardtails brought in a mechanical bull for Friday only in a special events tent set up in the back parking lot. For three bucks a ride, urban cowboys, Stetsoned cowgirls and seasoned rodeo pros took turns on the spinning, rocking beast, searching for that magical eight-second time. The buck-off contest was followed by a concert by Portland favorites, “Lock, Stock and Barrel.”
Hardtails hopes to bring back the idea of a hometown neighborhood grill by presenting the simple concept of appetizing food at decent prices. Sometimes the formula must be tinkered with in a struggling economy and reinventing a location that had in the past, proved difficult to maintain the numbers necessary to keep the doors open. As a dedicated businessman, Macey is well aware of customer loyalty and the nature of hospitality and prepared to do whatever it takes to achieve success.
The Glory Daze hot rod show in July down Adams St. will be another opportunity to rebrand and revitalize the location and Hardtails plans on bringing in custom and classic motorcycles to display out front to accompany the chamber’s annual salute to vintage American muscle cars.
Co-owner Darcy Macey has already met many of our locals and is getting to know them by first name.
“It’s been a real positive experience coming to Sisters,” she said. ”When the outside opens up it’ll be fun for parents to come in with their kids. We’re looking forward to a great summer and we’re happy to be here.”
Hardtails is open seven days a week, 11am to close, and is located at 175 N. Larch St. For more information call them at 541-549-6114.