Lawrence bar and restaurant reopens after death of its owner and founder

Jesse M. del Campo Jr.

The Slow Ride Roadhouse is on the road to recovery after tragedy. The North Lawrence bar and restaurant has reopened following the death of its owner and operator.

Jesse del Campo Jr., 56, was killed in a two-vehicle motorcycle accident on July 16, 2017, between Lawrence and Eudora. After his death, Slow Ride closed its doors, but members of the del Campo family reopened the business in recent weeks.

Megan Morris, who was part of the original crew when del Campo opened the bar and restaurant in 2005, is serving as manager of the establishment.

“It took a lot of work for the family to open it back up,” Morris said of the business, at 1350 North Third St. “They’ve been really dedicated to it. And Jesse’s friends have all been here to help get it open.”

Over the years, Slow Ride had become a bit more than just a bar and restaurant in North Lawrence. It also had become the place to go to get a peek at the area’s biker culture. The bar attracted a lot of motorcycle riders, and Morris said that community had missed having a Lawrence hangout.

“The motorcycle community is coming back to us,” Morris said. “They want to make us part of their rides. I hear every day how much people missed us.”

But, don’t worry, there is no need to don the leathers or have a love of motorcycles to go to Slow Ride. A love of comfort food in a bar-like setting will suffice. The del Campo family is one of the oldest restaurant families in Lawrence, operating La Tropicana Mexican restaurant in North Lawrence. So, Slow Ride will always have plenty of Mexican dishes on the menu.

Morris said the restaurant offers a lot of specials, and one of its more popular ones is a “homemade pork burrito as big as your face.” That special usually is offered on Friday. Thursday is usually the day for Indian tacos, which feature fry bread and a whole lot of meat and toppings. The regular menu includes quite a few varieties of quesadillas, nachos and hamburgers.

The establishment serves both lunch and dinner, with hours from 11 a.m. to midnight. But, for the time being, the bar and restaurant is only open Thursday through Sundays.

“We are still trying to get back into the groove of things,” Morris said.

That includes figuring out how to run the place without its [founder and life of the party.][1] Morris, though, said the place always would have some of Jesse’s spirit.

“We have a really nice memorial for Jesse,” Morris said. “And we light a candle for him every morning.”


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