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They broke eggs, not heads

By Glenn Yoder
Globe Staff / April 14, 2010

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — For years, whenever I visited my parents here, the biker bar Boneshakers Saloon waved its leather-clad hand my way. I had visions of dropping in some smoky evening for a Shiner Bock or a shot of Jack Daniel’s, listening to motorcycles rev their engines in the gravel parking lot while bikers compare road rash scars. In a perfect world, maybe I’d witness a good old-fashioned bar fight.

I don’t own a motorcycle. Heck, I’ve never ridden one without gripping the driver from behind as if I were a child or a girlfriend. For some reason, I still found this place alluring. Perhaps it was forbidden fruit. My mother’s concern over “that place’’ always quickly deflated any enthusiasm I had whipped up for a Boneshakers expedition with my father, sisters, or my girlfriend, Tara. My mother had her own visions of what happened behind doors: crass bikers chugging beers and starting fights — not that far from my fantasy. She warned me that I’d be viewed as “an outsider.’’

I even tried to book a gig there for the band I play in, in an attempt to force my parents to go (though my mother swore she wouldn’t). That failed, too.

I finally got to Boneshakers in a roundabout way. On a visit two summers ago, Tara and I decided to get breakfast at Chik-fil-A, a Southern restaurant chain. Foolishly, we overlooked the fact that it was a Sunday morning and Chik-fil-A, founded by a Sunday School instructor, is closed. We headed home on our bikes along General Booth Boulevard. As we passed Boneshakers, we saw a sign advertising breakfast — something we hadn’t noticed before. Honestly, I would have no sooner put Boneshakers and breakfast together than leather chaps and fine dining. We locked up our bicycles next to the motorcycles.

There were a few surprised stares from folks who obviously viewed us as “outsiders’’ (some of whom had brought along the whole family), but our server was welcoming. Despite the cigarette smoke, I’d go so far as to say the omelet I ordered was the best I’ve ever had. Cheap, too.

I’ve since returned. When the band last visited, we all ordered omelets, and mine was just as good as the first time. I may not have gotten the raucous, roadhouse night I had envisioned, but I’ll gladly take a great breakfast as a consolation prize. Now I only need to convince my mother.

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