Following the shootout in Texas that killed nine people and injured 18 others, bars and events that typically draw biker crowds are taking pause out of concern that further violence may erupt inside their businesses. The Waco, Texas, location of Twin Peaks, the “breastaurant” where a number of biker gangs gathered on Sunday, had its license revoked following the incident and Twin Peaks chain has suspended “bike nights” at all of its franchises, according to the Associated Press.
The concern has also spread to Sturgis, South Dakota, home of the famous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which more than 400,000 bikers and enthusiasts attended last year. Ray Gold, founder of the One Eyed Jack’s Saloon in Sturgis, told the AP he will no longer serve beer to bikers wearing vests that indicate they are in a biker gang. “We don’t want gangs here because we lose good customers,” he said.
The Texas Confederation of Clubs and Independents, a group made up of a number of rival biker gangs, met at the Twin Peaks in Waco to discuss what authorities described as disagreements over turf, a claim denied by the gangs, who said the discussion revolved around motorcycle laws, according to Austin NBC affiliate KXAN-TV.
Rob Barnett, a biker and owner of the Deer Crossing Saloon in Selma, Texas, said he will be banning confederation meetings following the Waco shootout. “I’ll help them out, but I’m a business before I’m a biker,” he told the AP.
But some bar owners said the incident was not indicative of the behavior of bikers overall. The owner of a Plano, Texas, bar said he used to hold bike nights on Thursdays and there was never trouble. “What happened in Waco is no reflection” of bike nights at Twin Peaks restaurants, the owner, who was not identified, told the AP. “The people you see at our bike nights are doctors and lawyers riding Harleys.”
Meanwhile, a motorcycle rally originally planned for Memorial Day in Mingus, Texas, was called off after the Cossacks, one of the gangs involved in Sunday’s brawl, agreed to nix the gathering. The event had gone on for 13 years without violence, Palo Pinto County Sheriff Ira Mercer told the AP. But Sunday’s incident and the planned participation by the Cossacks led to the cancellation.
“With what happened in Waco, and the beef between those clubs, we felt this was a dangerous situation,” Mercer said.
Other biker rallies will go on as scheduled, including a New Mexico rally expected to be attended by 20,000 bikers and another next month in Austin, Texas, with some 40,000 bikers.