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home : opinions : opinions May 28, 2016

8/27/2013 1:44:00 PM
Hardtails is a place for everybody
By Roger Engstrom

My name is Roger Engstrom. I am a long time resident of Sisters from back in the 60s . I am 59, retired Redmond Police Department Mechanic for 17 years, a professional musician in the Sisters area from 1981 to present day, and a previous owner of a business in Sisters.

Obviously over the years Sisters has changed a lot. When I came here most of your houses were just woods and fields. With the changes come more people and more tourists, business, traffic, lifestyles.

I would like to think that the city of Sisters would be trying anything it can to promote more business. If you look at the store fronts in town, practically half of them are sitting empty. Partly due to the economy and partly to the "Unless you fit OUR ideas, your not welcome" attitude from the city council, manager, businesses, residents etc.

How would you feel if you picked up the Nugget and read in it how the city was trying to destroy your business? SHAME on the city for this!!!! Don't you think it's fair to at least notify the parties in question first?

I think there is an ongoing double standard on the part of the city when it comes to how they treat various businesses and people.

On June 8, 2013, I was playing drums with a band at Hardtails Bar and Grill in their outside TENT during the rodeo. At 12am we were told by the sheriff deputies to shut down all live music per city ordinance, which we did. For the next hour we packed equipment listening to the band down the street at another "more worthy" establishment.

Last Saturday afternoon, 8/17/13, I was again playing music at Hardtails Bar & Grill. At approximately 3:30 p.m. in the afternoon the county sheriff deputies came in and ask the bartender if they had a permit for the live music??? They then told us that it was too loud and that we had to turn down or stop. Mind you this was 2 acoustic guitars, and a dejembe, which is a hand drum??? There were, maybe 10 people listening quietly.

Later I find out that at 3:17 p.m. on Saturday the 911 call log shows the "loud party" complaint as originating from South Timber Creek St., More than 2,500 feet away, behind the elementary school, city hall, the library, the creek. I guess when you're related to the city council you have super hearing, cause I had a hard time hearing the guitars onstage over my hand drumming.

But still I didn't see the sheriff going to "another more favorable" venue later that evening when, permit or not, I could hear their band playing for several hours from the back parking lot of Hardtails, more than several blocks away. What happened to 30 feet?

The next day I looked up the city codes for noise, and found that as of 12/13/12 they had been changed, and that a permit was required for any amplified music outdoors, and that if it could be heard from more than 30 feet away, it was too loud. There were also numerous mentions of MOTORCYCLES in particular.

Kinda looks like the city has a thing against motorcycles and their riders to me.

The Nugget's article states that the actions were based on incident reports from the sheriff's office. I know that if you were to check the 911 call logs for rodeo weekend, you would find as many or more incidents at the other venues with live entertainment, and/or alcohol.

Perhaps we should take a look at the people who frequent Hardtails Bar and Grill. Yes there are a lot of bikers coming and going, most from out of the area, bringing tourist dollars to SPEND, not just at Hardtails, but also Dutch Bros, or Chevron, or Space Age, etc.

Look in The Nugget on July 8, 2011: "Fundraiser to Aid Family of Man Killed in Wreck." That was for local Andy Hartford, and was held at Hardtails.

Look in The Nugget on July 5, 2011: "Sisters Turns Out to Aid Ailing Man After Surgery for Tumor." That was on June 28 for local Conrad Kiefer, CITY EMPLOYEE, and held at again, Hardtails.

Most of the time when there are a large group of bikers at Hardtails, it is for a fundraiser of some sort. Grandma's House, Gorilla Gospel Poker Run to buy books, etc. Bikers are some of the most generous, helpful people I know, unlike the stereotype that most believe.

Also if you would take the time to notice, BIKERS are the ONLY ones in town who have always honored the back in parking. I will include photos taken last Sunday afternoon, if need be.

I know other long time residents of Sisters, business owners, deputies, and even pastors who, like myself own and enjoy riding motorcycles.

Hardtails Bar and Grill has done quite a bit in Sisters to help others, without any thought to their own expense. They are a 3 years now sponsor of both the quilt show and the rodeo. They are a sponsor for the Outlaw Open golf tournament. They are a Sisters Chamber member.

They even changed the times for their live music to 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoons to try to accommodate the noise ordinances, and complaints.

Sisters, your own website promotes both Hardtails Bar and Grill, as well as their's and other venue's outdoor live music in the events section under music scene.

QUOTE: "Sisters may still be a quiet little town, but these days it's making a big noise - in all the right ways. From the local coffee house, to good times at the pub, Sisters is home to a THRIVING LIVE MUSIC SCENE".

How can you advertise Sister's GREAT live music scene, to the tourists, to attract them, and then persecute the venues who have the live music..


You might come by after 10 p.m. sometime and you would see that MOST ALL of the customers are LOCALS who maybe worked second shift cooking your dinner at one of Sister's fine eating establishments, or a store owner, or excavation company owner, or a contractor, who not only helped build Sisters, but also SPENDS in Sisters...Most all have a great time singing karaoke, and unwinding.

Hardtails is the ONLY place for ANYBODY (locals & tourists) to go in Sisters after 10pm, unless you want to risk a DUI going to Bend or Redmond to distribute your cash.


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