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Vintage motorcycles and comfort food in Springville a big draw for bikers

By Karissa Neely daily Herald - | Jul 3, 2015
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Early diners arrive for dinner at Legend's Motorcycle Emporium's new restaurant, the Sidecar Cafe, in Springville on Tuesday, June 30, 2015. GRANT HINDSLEY, Daily Herald

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Leslie Brown and Janalyn McNeil visit at the bar at Legend's Motorcycle Emporium's new restaurant, the Sidecar Cafe, in Springville on Tuesday, June 30, 2015. GRANT HINDSLEY, Daily Herald

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Vintage memorabilia decorate Legend's Motorcycle Emporium's new restaurant, the Sidecar Cafe, in Springville on Tuesday, June 30, 2015. GRANT HINDSLEY, Daily Herald

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A vintage Indian motorcycle and sidecar are displayed above the bar at Legend's Motorcycle Emporium's new restaurant, the Sidecar Cafe, in Springville on Tuesday, June 30, 2015. GRANT HINDSLEY, Daily Herald

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Jeremy Olsen takes orders at Legend's Motorcycle Emporium's new restaurant, the Sidecar Cafe, in Springville on Tuesday, June 30, 2015. GRANT HINDSLEY, Daily Herald

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Menus await customers at the front of Legend's Motorcycle Emporium's new restaurant, the Sidecar Cafe, in Springville on Tuesday, June 30, 2015. GRANT HINDSLEY, Daily Herald

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Legend's Motorcycle Emporium's main attraction, motorcycles, can be seen from the bar at the new restaurant, the Sidecar Cafe, in Springville on Tuesday, June 30, 2015. GRANT HINDSLEY, Daily Herald

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Hunter Flinders arranges menus at Legend's Motorcycle Emporium's new restaurant, the Sidecar Cafe, in Springville on Tuesday, June 30, 2015. GRANT HINDSLEY, Daily Herald

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Early diners arrive for dinner at Legend's Motorcycle Emporium's new restaurant, the Sidecar Cafe, in Springville on Tuesday, June 30, 2015. GRANT HINDSLEY, Daily Herald

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Legend's Motorcycle Emporium's main attraction, motorcycles, are displayed just outside the new restaurant, the Sidecar Cafe, in Springville on Tuesday, June 30, 2015. GRANT HINDSLEY, Daily Herald

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Legend's Motorcycle Emporium's new restaurant, the Sidecar Cafe, has outdoor seating, photographed in Springville on Tuesday, June 30, 2015. GRANT HINDSLEY, Daily Herald

Rick Salisbury has one goal — for his Legends Motorcycles shop in Springville to become a destination for bikers. How does one make a biker tourist spot? Vintage motorcycles.

Salisbury has more than 150 antique and vintage bikes on display at his shop, including his prize possession, which Salisbury added just a few months ago. It is a 1907 Harley-Davidson strap tank, one of only three in existence.

“In the antique motorcycle world, this is the Holy Grail of motorcycles,” Salisbury said. “And if you stop and think about it, the two guys who started Harley-Davidson probably put this one together by hand.”

Salisbury began collecting antique motorcycles nearly 25 years ago, storing them in a shed on his property in Springville. He always had a little shop there where he’d restore them. After he sold his company, Salisbury Homes, in 2006, he decided his collection was too large for the small shop, and he also felt people needed a chance to see these bikes.

“Antique motorcycles are a work of art. Just look at how they are put together. When they first started making these things back in the early 1900s, they didn’t even have the equipment. The parts are all handmade. It’s artistic craftsmanship,” Salisbury said. “And you’re not going to see some of the bikes that I have here anywhere else.”

To that end, he bought the old CarMax building on 500 South in Springville and completely renovated it with a retro industrial feel. He rebuilt the walls with soaring concrete pillars, and large cross-hatched windows. He even went so far as to lay the cement flooring and then pit it and stain it to look old and worn.

“I wanted it to look like an old factory that had burned down, and I refurbished it and moved my (expletive) in,” Salisbury said with a chuckle. “I wanted to hearken back to a time when things were made in the USA. It just brings back a nicer time, a more comfortable time. I wanted it to be a place to relax and take the stress out.”

In addition to the vintage motorcycles on display free of charge, Legends houses a vintage motorcycle art museum, a clothing store, and a barbershop, where one can still get an old fashioned shave. There is also a parts shop, and a full-service repair shop with fabrication machinery, so he can custom build any part — even an entire bike from the ground up.

If that wasn’t a draw enough, two weeks ago Salisbury opened his latest addition to the space, The Sidecar Café. The café serves “comfort food” and has a homey yet industrial feel, almost as if patrons are just on break from their factory job and have stepped out to eat.

“It has a unique atmosphere. It’s kind of like you are eating in a Harley-Davidson factory, but it’s comfortable and it’s good food,” said Jim Rayburn, marketing coordinator for Legends.

Salisbury knew nothing about the restaurant business, except that he wanted one that even those who weren’t bikers could come and enjoy great food. So he hired Joe Lambert, former owner of Gastronomics, a restaurant consulting company. Lambert suggested the theme and the food offerings, including Salisbury steak, loaded mac and cheese and fish and chips for lunch and dinner. The café also offers breakfast, and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day.

“When people come here to look at the motorcycles, I want them also to be able to sit down and enjoy something to eat. I want an atmosphere that makes Legends a cool place to hang out,” Salisbury said.

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