WACO, Texas (CNN/KXXV) — A Waco, Texas, restaurant banned bikers and motorcycles following Sunday’s deadly biker gang shootout in the city. Some feel the decision is discriminatory, but the eatery’s owner is defending the ban — which has since been lifted.
For Daniel Wood it’s easy to list the positives of riding a motorcycle.
“The best part of riding a motorcycle is the freedom of the road,” said Wood, who rides a bike. “There is nothing between me and God’s earth.”
But he says being a biker prevented him from eating at a Waco restaurant on Thursday. After Sunday’s shooting, Salty Dog Sports Bar and Grill posted a sign that read, “No bikers or motorcycles allowed until further notice.”
“It’s like saying that because I practice a certain religion or my skin color is a certain color I can’t eat at your restaurant,” he said.
Salty Dog owner Randy Crook says he is not against motorcycles, but he feared if gangs saw them in his parking lot that it will bring trouble.
“After I saw what happened at Twin Peaks, I did it to protect my customers,” said Crook. “I heard some of the motorcycle gangs were still in town and were going to come to town. I certainly don’t want them here and didn’t want them to be jeopardizing the safety of my customers.”
Crook lifted that temporary restriction on Thursday afternoon, but bikers, like Wood, don’t anticipate walking through these doors again.
“I do not foresee myself, my family or any of my friends going back to that restaurant for that reason of them discriminating against bikers or motorcyclists,” said Wood.
“I’m going to protect my customers,” said Crook. “I made a statement; I stand behind it. I’ll stand behind it tomorrow.”
The restaurant does not allow members of biker clubs to wear their colors. The owner says that rule has been in place since its opening six years ago.