BarView- Mike’s Roadhouse


Mike’s Roadhouse
By Kate Serpa

I am generally not a fan of interviewing the restaurant/bar combination; I like my bars very separate from anyone who may tip-off a personal guilt trip (such as toddlers, pregnant women, and incredibly healthy, tanned people) or make mefeel less-than-okay about having my 11 am long island.  Don’t judge me, people.  I’m a bar columnist; I’m conducting RESEARCH!  A welcome exception, however, was Mike’s Roadhouse, which features a very large, very dining-separate bar, packed to the hilt with enough booze to rid me of my apprehensions of running into any guilt-trip-triggers.

As someone in the business, I am a very firm believer in supporting locally owned and operated establishments and I do think Modesto is lucky in the fact that wehave a number of fantastic independent bars and restaurants to choose from.  Therefore, it was an immense pleasure to sit with Mike Nelson, owner and operator of Mike’s Roadhouse, and Bernie Brown, second in command and right hand man, to discuss two topics I feel very passionately about: booze, and drinking.  Now understand, ModestoView readers, that Mike’s Roadhouse is not only a fantastic bar, it is also a fantastic restaurant which will be celebrating it’s 15th anniversary (via big party) in August, but as a girl who is true to her commitments, the watering hole will be my prime focus.

But first, some fun facts: Mike stated, “When I opened Mike’s Roadhouse, it was at a time when a lot of people in Modesto were opening a pub, diner or sports bar.  I did some research and started reading about  roadhouses.”  Now, since I know that you don’t know, reader, I shall fill you in because I am so very kind.  Roadhouses were scattered all across the original Route 66, which ran from San Diego to Chicago.  These were establishments you would stop and eat at, and food-wise, anything would go.  None of these roadhouses were affiliated, however, but they were all cohesively fashionedfrom the same easily affordable material: corrugated metal.  Therefore, when you enter Mike’s Roadhouse, take note of the abundance of metal decorated throughout, especially in the bar.  It’s all in the details, people.

Now for the important stuff:  Did you know Mike’s Roadhouse has Foster’s on tap?  Now that’s exciting stuff, people.  Even more exciting is the fact the Roadhouse Giant’s-decorated bar is stuffed full of fantastic booze with an extensive cocktail to match.  What is Mike’s Roadhouse’s most popular cocktail, you ask?  Why, it’s the “Make Me Something Good,” of course.  And they will, and it will be delicious every time.

As I have indulged in not one, but two Roadhouse margaritas, I will submit to being lazy and allowing Mike and Bernie to construct my conclusion.  Mike concludes: “I love what I do and I want to make sure my customers want to come back here.  I truly believe in value satisfaction and want to be sure our customers always get their money’s worth, and that’s a great reason to come in.  You’ll always be treated with a smile and respect that brings in a great diversity—families, prom dates, Harley riders, and we really like the vintage muscle car owners. We want you to feel as though you’re a guest in a friend’s house.”  Adds Bernie:  “Come in hungry, and come in thirsty, and you’ll be taken care of.”  True story.

Happy Hour:  Mon- Fri., 4-7 pm
**Note: Monday Happy Hour lasts as long as the game does!
Check out for upcoming events

3250 Dale Road, Modesto, CA

Mike’s Roadhouse’s Cadillac Margarita
2 pm tequila, you say?  Well, if you absolutely insist….

What you need:
-Glasswith ice with a salt rim (duh)
-1 1Ž2 oz. Sauza Hornitos Reposado tequila (delicious death juice)
-Gran Marnier (for the float)

What you do:
-Shake the hell out of the tequila and limejuice
-Pour that delicious/deadly mix in your salt-rimmed glass
-Float of Gran Marnier
-Garnish with lime, and forget any previous plans you had for the day because you’ll likely be making a few more of these tasty drinks



Posted in: featured, food & drink

About the Author:

Kate Serpa does not live in Modesto, CA, nor does she attend court-reporting school. She has not played for the piano for a number of years and she is definitely not excited about helping out at the McHenry Museum. She detests drinking, bar hopping, and late night adventures, and thinks girls who dye their hair red are disgraceful. She has absolutely zero sense of humor and is boring as hell.