What makes a hero?
Bradshaw honored for his many contributions
Phoenix, Ariz., Apr. 9–18—Each year, Arizona Bike Week promoters choose a person to be recognized for their contribution to the motorcycle community and they give this person a lofty title, the Arizona Bike Week Hero. This year’s honoree is Mark Bradshaw, owner of The Hideaway Grill.
Mark, however, was a bit uncomfortable with the “hero” designation. “I don’t like that word—I don’t think it applies to me. A hero is a soldier, peace officer, a fireman—someone who saves somebody’s life. I’m not a hero. I appreciate the recognition, but I’m not a hero.”
Fine, Mark. Whatever you say.
However, after a little searching and talks with Mark’s long time friends Jay Allen and Ray Valle, I believe we can identify some heroic qualities in the man. It is said by those in the know that the Hideaway Grill (“Somewhere in Cave Creek, Arizona”), and therefore Mark, have become world famous. Mark has created the quintessential Southwest biker bar and ultimate “Happy Place” destination for bikers. And let’s face it: To have endured 12 years of dealing with our scurvy lot should be regarded as heroic.
Beyond that, you can consider Mark’s ongoing and selfless contributions to the riding community. Mark continues to be involved with two local Harley-Davidson stores, Buddy Stubbs and Hacienda. He helps promote and lead rides to other dealerships from his establishment in Cave Creek. Mark happily leads people away from his own establishment to other people’s businesses when he participates in organized rides.
At the Hideaway, Mark invites all the bike builders up to his place, giving them vendor space so they can display their creations. Famous builders like John Schope, Paul Yaffe and Jim Nasi have all displayed their work at the Hideaway.
Mark also has a record of being tremendously loyal to his employees. His barmaids, Katina, Dawn, Becca and Dawnny, have stayed with Mark for 12, 10, eight and five years respectively. (Alli’s only been on board for a year.) His general manager for five years, Rick, has been his friend since third grade. According to Valle, “Many biker bars start out being one thing and become something else, but the Hideaway never has.”
Mark grew up riding dirt bikes from the age of 6 or 7 and at 16 got his motorcycle license. His first Harley was a 1991. Mark always enjoyed riding to Cave Creek and would hit the popular stops. In 1998 he started looking for a place to purchase and happened on a little candy store that was for sale. “I purchased the business and property, took 10 days to remodel it and opened it up as a biker bar,” stated Bradshaw.
Mark has several goals that are already coming to fruition. “I am doing a licensing agreement on Hideaways across the country. I already have one in Belfair, Washington, and I’m looking for others who want to become franchisers. In June, I open up a rider-friendly coffee shop and bistro in Salisbury, Missouri. I’ve been spending time back there for some summers as my mom was born in the little town, and my fiancee is from there.” (Mark married Anna Stewart on May 1, 2010.)
Over the years, Mark has contributed thousands of dollars to different charities and helped raise money for organizations around the valley. Since the current promoters have taken over Arizona Bike Week, Mark has been a major player. “They gave me this recognition and I am honored and humbled to accept the honor because to me being a biker is a lifestyle, and my business fits in with that lifestyle. I feel blessed because it is my lifestyle.”
Most noteworthy of all, according to Valle, when there is any kind of tragedy in the motorcycle community—a biker goes down, or there’s someone is in need—Mark’s shooting over there. “A few years ago,” stated Valle, “Mark’s best friend died in a motorcycle accident. Mark called me and asked if I could meet him at the friend’s house. When I walked into the house, a little 12-year-old girl was sitting on the couch and she looked at me and said, ‘My daddy just died.’ She didn’t have anybody. Mark went to the courts and applied for legal guardianship and became her legal guardian. He takes care of her and she lives with him because she wanted to live with him. Mark already had four children, but he took on a fifth.”
Maybe Mark doesn’t consider that heroic, but I can’t think of a better word for it.
Well done, Mr. Bradshaw, and we’ll be looking for the addition of an Arizona Bike Week Hero Sandwich to the menu at the Hideaway Grill—Somewhere in Cave Creek, Arizona!