Bunnell, Fla. (October 19, 2022) – Bikers roared into Central Florida mid-October to celebrate the 30th annual Biketoberfest gathering in Daytona Beach, and regional businesses picked up the overflow.
Hitting all the hotspots like Froggy’s on Main Street in Daytona Beach, the Iron Horse Saloon on US-1 in Ormond, and Destination Daytona where Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made a stop to welcome visitors to Florida at the Bruce Rossmeyer Harley Davidson compound, places like the 1405 Saloon in Bunnell, were ready to rock.
Known for years as the Dog Pound before becoming The Porch, new owners Tom and Lisa Moravec transformed the historic location on the Heritage Crossroads: Miles of History Florida Scenic Highway, also known as State Road 100, from a dive bar to local neighborhood bar in a little over a month.
Just in time to welcome the 2022 Biketoberfest crowd.
Welcome to the Neighborhood
After selling their global safety consulting business, the couple who’ve also dabbled in NASCAR added bar owner to their list of entrepreneurial endeavors. Opening their doors just ahead of a season that traditionally brings an economic boom for businesses like theirs.
“Lisa and I had been talking about it for some time now and the opportunity just came up with the previous owner and we said, let’s do it,” said Tom.
“This is our first Biketoberfest. I’m super happy,” said Lisa after receiving positive feedback from bikers who’d stopped over the weekend.
“They are so excited. They said they can finally come home,” she said, making them feel welcome.
Friends have offered their support as well.
“It’s beyond words. I couldn’t be more blessed to have my friends that I hang out with in Daytona come up, and I have friends here that are here, so it’s very good,” she said.
From refinishing the floors to building a brand new stage for local headlining rock and roll acts, the Moravecs have put the 1405 Saloon back on the map.
“We’ve completely done the floors, painted everything, redone all the bathrooms, widened our stage, and we have bands scheduled like the Kids Rock the Nation Jam every Sunday,” she said.
Advertising a stellar lineup for Biketoberfest among the acts were area favorite and blues musician Anthony Wild, founder of the nonprofit Kids Rock the Nation.
“Lisa and Tom are incredible,” said Wild with sincere appreciation. “You walk in and everything’s so nice. The stage is fabulous, and this is great because it’s ten minutes from my house.”
As supporters of the national program putting instruments in the hands of kids across the country, the couple is excited to host the Sunday jam sessions, set to kick off Sunday, October 23rd from 2-5 p.m.
Being able to host the organization in their own backyard, so to speak, is a delight for the trio.
“We’ll have local kids come and play, and adults play with them, mentor them,” said Wild.
“It will be kind of a Kids Rock the Nation fundraiser. This will be good for Flagler County because we’ve gifted tons and tons of instruments here in the schools. We’ve probably done 600 instruments. We just did 30 guitars at the Bunnell (Elementary) School right down the road here.”
Stop On By
Restoring the location to it’s former glory has been fun for the couple, and with deep roots in the entertainment community, they welcomed the debut of The Hax on Saturday night.
They have big plans to keep the 1405 Saloon front and center.
“We wanted to bring it back to the way it used to be and then some, turn it into a Flagler County mini destination area,” said Tom. “There’s already so many bikes that come through here for the rallies, so many people in the community that ride and not just a biker bar but a great neighborhood bar.”
Nostalgia plays a part for those who stop in, and the Moravecs worked to keep the vibe while updating the look.
“This building was classic. If I remember right, the original building was built in 1946 and you know, things need fixing. We did a lot of work in one month,” he said proudly. “People are just amazed and it turned out good.”
The name is another cool feature of the venue.
“The name is funny – we weren’t sure if we were going to go back to the Dog Pound, or if we were going to call it the Road House because it was an original house on the road,” muses Tom. “We were sitting there talking and I was like, what’s the address? She said, 1405, and I said what about 1405 Saloon, and it was perfect.”
Starting with social media teasers during the construction phase, well-wishers stopped by daily to check on progress and an opening date. More than 100 people attended the soft opening the previous week.
“All the local bars and everybody we’ve known and supported for years and support what we’ve done with Angel Flight and Kids Rock the Nation, all the different stuff we’ve done, they were behind us,” said Tom. “Everybody was excited to see the changes we were doing. It felt real good. Totally blessed by the support we have in Flagler and Volusia County.”
The 1405 Saloon is located at 1405 E. Moody Blvd (State Road 100), Bunnell. Indoor/outdoor seating, full bar, food and beverages, live entertainment.