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SIOUX CITY | A local restaurant found itself hindered by barricades and obscured by tents during Awesome Biker Nights last weekend, stifling tips for employees.

SoHo Kitchen & Bar’s owner, Julie Schoenherr, said she decided against participating in the event this year, and it cost the restaurant customers. Many of her 26 employees rely on tips to pay the bills, she said.

Her son, Adam Schoenherr, is usually the bartender for the sidewalk bar each year, but couldn’t make it in time from Fargo, N.D.

He’s the only barkeep Schoenherr trusts to handle such an event.

“We have always done the event, supported the charities, for four years, but I didn’t feel secure doing without him,” she said.

Schoenherr told the Awesome Biker Nights' board in May she would decline this year and did not pay the $1,500 fee to participate. The collected fees are supposed to go to charity, she said.

On Thursday, the day before the event's kickoff, she was told by the board a barricade would be erected around her business. It would separate SoHo from the events in the street, which required a wristband to enter.

The barricade went along the sidewalk. Potential patrons had to go around the fence and have a volunteer with Awesome Biker Nights open the gate for them, she said.

Tents with event volunteers and equipment were erected in front of the barricade, blocking the view of the street, Schoenherr said.

Business was affected. Schoenherr said that on Friday night, the restaurant only sat six tables of customers.

“I don’t understand what we did wrong. I feel like I’m being punished for not going out on street with a bar,” she said. “But I’m not going to dwell on it. We’re going to look forward.”

Brian Hall, chairman of the board for Awesome Biker Nights, declined to comment.

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