By Diana Olmstead
On Saturday, Oct 26th bikers from all over came together and packed the Westside Tavern for the 1st Annual Olympia Toy Run Kick-Off Party! The Westside Tavern is a Silver Sponsor of this year’s Olympia Toy Run, a mammoth motorcycle parade and charity event that benefits the Salvation Army ‘Toy n’ Joy’ Shop.
Choosing the Westside for this first time Kick-Off Party was a perfect fit, not only because they are a sponsor and located in Olympia but due to the fact that Dean and Lisa Damitio, owners of the Westside, believe in the cause behind the Olympia Toy Run. The Damitio’s are parents; they have 5 kids ranging in age from 14 to 20. Family is very important to them and doing their part to insure that children within their own community had a gift or two to open on Christmas day was simply the right thing to do.
A great two piece band, Siren and Assassin, who hail from New Zealand, played a great mix of acoustic soulful music, creating a perfect vibe. The KAYO 96.9 FM girls were on hand looking as cute as ever while passing out swag to everyone in the bar.
Members from the Olympia Toy Run Coalition were kept busy selling dozens of 36th Annual Olympia Toy Run long sleeve t-shirts and hoodies to the crowd. Santa Joe Sullivan, Olympia Toy Run Coordinator and designer of this year’s Olympia Toy Run artwork was shaking hands with the riders and autographing all of the shirts that were sold!
A few lucky riders won some great door prizes – two $250 gift certificates for tattoo work by INKLIFE Tattoos Piercing & Art Gallery in Olympia, two $100 gift certificates for helmets to be airbrushed by AirBrush Fever in Shelton, a leather Miller High Life Harley-Davidson jacket donated by the Westside, and pair of Harley-Davidson riding boots.
What really got the crowd all pumped was the live auction of a hand painted car hood mural! The mural was painted by Kevin Jones, owner of Dragonair Studio and it had been autographed by Danny Bonaduce, a local DJ for KZOK 102.5 FM and former child star of the hit 70’s TV show, The Partridge Family. The mural, perfect for any man cave, raised an additional $600 for this year’s Olympia Toy Run!
If you haven’t stopped by the Westside you really should check the place out. Dean and Lisa bought the bar on Oct 15, 2011 and after extensive remodeling they opened their doors on December 20th, 2011. A great deal of thought, time and talent went into redesigning the bars exterior and interior. They wanted the bar to have a cool, hip, classy, feel to it so they brought in the best local artists to help with their design concept – Vince Ryland painted the mural, John Hannukaine did all of the pinstriping and Casey Grant provided all of the photography artwork.
Dean and Lisa have many years of experience as bar owners, they’ve owned several successful establishments in Alaska and Southern California but Dean who was born and raised in Washington, missed his family and decided it was time to return to his roots and open a new bar. Because of their experience in the bar industry they understand the importance of having a great menu and serving high quality food. Their chef, Chef Dano is from Alaska and has been working with Dean and Lisa since 1996.
The Westside Tavern boasts an excellent selection of local beers as well as a full bar to meet all your cocktail needs. Their focus on great food and drinks, superb customer service, live music and fun events is why the Westside has become so popular!
The Westside Tavern is a true biker friendly establishment. Dean and Lisa are longtime riders and when they’re not at work or attending their kids’ activities you’ll find them enjoying some solitude on Dean’s 2002 Heritage Springer. For more info about the Westside Tavern check out their facebook page or their website at www.thewestsidetavern.com