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Cold Beer and Running Gear Fuels Local Business

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Contributor: Jamie Richardson

 

📍 Streakers Cold Beer and Running Gear, 3 Union St S suite 110, Concord, NC
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Several years ago, Jeff Thomas found himself in a place many of us can relate to. Overweight and feeling constantly tired, Jeff knew he needed a change. Encouraged by a neighbor, he decided to give running a try.

It wasn’t easy—initially, he couldn’t run more than 100 feet without stopping. But Jeff was determined. Starting small, he began running short distances and gradually increased his stamina. He also adopted healthier eating habits, quit smoking, and committed to a more active lifestyle. These steps led to significant weight loss and ignited a newfound passion for running.

Photo credits: Streakers Running Club Facebook

As he progressed, Jeff set more challenging goals. Running three miles without stopping was a significant milestone. Motivated by his progress, he entered his first 5K race and surprised himself by placing third in his age group. In November 2015, Jeff committed to running a 5K every day.

  • As of May 21, 2024, he has kept this streak going for 3,119 consecutive days! Additionally, he has competed in full marathons in 29 different states.

Running not only improved Jeff’s health but also opened new doors. Leaving his job after 23 years, he decided to combine his passion for running with his social nature.

In 2017 he opened Streakers Cold Beer and Running Gear in Downtown Concord. This unique establishment combines a running store with a bar, creating a welcoming space for runners and locals alike.

  • The name Streakers is a nod to Jeff’s running streak, with the bar celebrating the dedication of anyone who runs consistently.

The bar’s atmosphere is warm and welcoming, decorated with pictures of customers, race bibs, and medals. Themed after the iconic film Forrest Gump, the bar features the movie playing on a continuous loop and an “ever-growing” mural depicting Forrest Gump surrounded by caricatures of Jeff’s regular customers. You can even find Jeff dressed as Forrest Gump at the annual Candy Crawl in Downtown Concord. Ironically, Jeff’s wife’s name is Jenny!

Developing mural at Streakers

Jeff Thomas out running as Forest Gump

Group of people inside Streakers Cold Beer and Running Gear

Despite a slow start, with only a few customers during the first few months, Jeff invested time and effort into personalizing his new business. He built the bar himself and painted a replica of the Boston Marathon finish line on the floor. Jeff’s dedication eventually paid off. Business began to grow, and he expanded from four taps and a single board of shots to 12 boards featuring 172 different types of shots.

Streakers offers an affordable and diverse drink menu, with shots priced at just five dollars and the most expensive drink at eight dollars. The bar is famous for its pickle shot, which consists of a shot of Jameson served in a hollowed-out pickle. Many drinks at Streakers have unique names inspired by customers, and those who complete 12 different shots over time can earn a coveted Streakers T-shirt and have their picture displayed on the bathroom wall.

Streakers infamous pickle shot

T-shirt winner wall at Streakers Bar

Beyond its drinks, Streakers sells running gear, from shoes and socks to hydration belts and dog harnesses. Jeff also hosts running groups. Through these gatherings, participants can enjoy the fun and motivation that comes from running with others.

Streakers is more than a business; it’s a community that cares deeply for each other. On June 9th, the bar is hosting a “Weenie Roast” fundraiser to support Madison, the daughter of Jeff’s friend Richie, who has been diagnosed with leukemia. All proceeds from purchases that day will go towards her hospital bills, with free hotdogs available for tips.

Jeff’s story, from battling personal health issues to building a thriving community hangout, is truly inspiring. Through Streakers, he’s not only transformed his own life but is also making a real difference in the lives of others.

 

Planning to visit? Tell ’em Cabarrus Weekly sent ya!