MARYSVILLE If youre doing the Oyster Run, youve got to make the pancake stop.
As about 15,000 motorcyclists made the trip to the famous Anacortes motorcycle rally on Sept. 24, the new Harley-Davidson dealership lured the leather-clad masses to town with syrup and sausages.
The 30,000-square-foot shop is built to look just like the Milwaukee factory where Americas famous Hogs are built, and owners Scott and Marianne Smernis wanted to show off their baby by putting out the welcome mat.
The Kiwanis and Soroptimist clubs did the cooking; a five-spot got you all the hotcakes, sausages, coffee and juice you could hold. It was a huge success, according to the many bikers eating a hot breakfast on a beautiful Sunday.
I think its the greatest thing to happen to Marysville in a long time, said Mike Hayes who was there with his French wife Fatien. Hayes has lived in town since there were only 4,000 people and State Avenue was gravel and the bridges were made of wood.
He wasnt happy about the new Costco across the freeway and could do without a lot of the new business, retail or residential. But the retired bulldozer driver was taking his wife north on his 1992 Harley-Davidson FLHS motorcycle with its 80-cubic-inch engine and said that not every city gets a plum like the Hog heaven next to Interstate 5. He said he has been making the trip since the very first Oyster Run, when there was nine people at the California Tavern.
Las Vegas transplant Phil The Stallion Nunez was yukking it up in the shade next to his gleaming black soft-tail duce. Hes been riding a Hog for 14 years and just moved to Washington and his Harley still had a custom Nevada plate with the word Menis. That comes from when he would rev the bike in his apartment complex parking lot in the early hours, when he was dubbed a menace, he laughed. The pancake feed was a hit, according to the Stallion and his wife Stacie.
Its fabulous! Maybe I shouldnt say fabulous, he said, gesturing to all his leather gear. Its very nice, lets say that.
week. The store isnt just a dealership Smernis said, although it sells bikes and offers financing and insurance and has a parts and repair shop just like a car dealership. What sets it apart is an espresso bar that makes great mochas, three fireplaces (one outdoors) and a huge clothing and accessories shop.
Were creating a lot of energy, Smernis said. Were selling a lot of bikes and a ton of motorclothes.
The crowd of mixed ages and genders reflected the shift in focus for the motorcycle maker, according to Smernis. About 15 years ago the shops were scary places and H-D knew it had to change something. Thats been a success as more and more people are riding the motorcycles than ever before. No matter how popular they get, Theyll always have an edge, Smernis promised.
The pancake feed was his way of putting out the welcome mat while putting the dealership on the map. The Oyster Run is one of the biggest and oldest rallies in the Puget Sound region and many riders pass on I-5.
Outside, Marysville Kiwanis major domo Dave Voigt was keeping a crew of workers busy with his Belshaw Brothers Batter Boy dropper, keeping about 40 hotcakes cooking on two different grills at once. He might have been working his crew too hard: Marysville city electrician and long-time Kiwanis member Tom King was wearing an apron charred near his backside. The Marysville folks were helped by crews from the Stanwood and Camano Island clubs as well.
Its really run, said Voigt.
On the grill nearby there were a few pancakes with corners and straight edges where Voigts ordnance missed the mark and hit the edge of the grill.
We tried to make the Mickey Mouse ones but they didnt turn out, said worker Gary Beard.
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