Located off I-35 3 miles north of Georgetown's downtown, Hardtails Bar and Grill has served as a gathering place for motorcyclists, veterans and families for over a decade.

Decorated with vintage poker, military and Texas-themed ephemera, the colorful spot is known for its live music nights and casual comfort food menu.

What’s special about it?

Hardtails sits next to sister business and motorcycle shop Hog Alley. Despite this proximity, owner Martha Edwards insists, "Hardtails is not a biker bar; it's an everybody bar."

Hardtails opened in 2009 under former owner Dean Edwards, a military veteran and motorcyclist himself. When Dean died in 2016, his wife, Martha, and daughter, Erica Edwards, took over both businesses.

Edwards said despite the growing downtown bar scene, Hardtails remains a Georgetown community staple.

"Some of our customers come here every day, and if you're not going to come in, you have to let us know or we start to worry," Edwards said.

Hardtails regular and military veteran Juan Westbrooks said he has been a patron since 2011, thanks to the friendly atmosphere.

"The bartenders know you by name and will have your drink ready before you even sit down," said David "Mac" McKafee, a friend of Westbrooks.

Hardtails also hosts live blues, country and rock music nights Thursday-Saturday without a cover charge.

Zooming out

Hardtails has struggled with ongoing employee shortages since the pandemic, necessitating reduced business hours to avoid overworking staff.

Erica said the issue is partly a result of larger surrounding cities, such as Austin, pricing out locally owned restaurants in smaller towns when it comes to employee wages.

"Over the years, we've had to increase our wages about 25%," Erica said. "A lot of people are expecting to be paid $20 an hour, but every local restaurant would go under if they paid that much in wages."

Edwards said it's a difficult balancing act to keep the menu affordable for customers.

What's on the menu

Hardtails boasts an extensive selection appetizers, burgers, breakfast and subs, Edwards said.

Customers can enjoy casual comfort food dishes, such as Dean's Deep Fried Dog, a fried hot dog stuffed with serrano peppers and wrapped in bacon, or Hangover Nachos topped with cheddar, jalapenos and their signature chili.

Happy Hour is every weekday from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., and Happy Happy Hour is from 4-7 p.m. Guests under 21 years old are not allowed in after 4 p.m.