Here's looking at you, Ranch

BAY AREA NEWS GROUP

Article Last Updated: 07/09/2008 09:40:50 AM PDT

There was a lot of reminiscing about the "good old days" in Hayward at the recent 60th anniversary of the Hayward Ranch restaurant. Current owners Chris and Christine Sarantakis put on one heck of a shindig that included rolling back the prices for the evening.

Former staff members, vendors and Ranch fans new and old enjoyed the music of The Sierra Travelers Band, which played retro country tunes. Guests dressed in Western garb, including owner Chris with his cowboy hat and vest decorated with real silver-dollar buttons.

Chris and Christine have owned the Ranch for 10 years, but before them, the owners were Leonard and Adele Perillo. Mrs. Perillo, who attended the party, brought several pieces of memorabilia to be displayed, including old menus, posters and pictures.

Many former employees came to celebrate, including servers Lorraine Kostner, Carol Baker, Darla Kautz and former bartender Leo Pagan. Also in attendance were several generations of the same families who have worked at the Ranch over the years, including former servers Marie James and her daughter Kelly Goff, Corrine Courtney and her mother Bonnie, and Betty Fife, the aunt of current employee Ronda Wallace.

Throughout the evening, many a glass was raised in honor of another longtime bartender, Robert "Mickey" Morris, who wasn't able to attend. Even some of the vendors for the Ranch came, including Richard Simon, who brought along Robert Gallery, offensive tackle for the Oakland Raiders.

Many stories and remembrances were shared throughout the evening. One of the original contractors remembered tearing down a small farmhouse to build the Ranch in 1948. A fair share of business deals have been discussed in the old-time bar; several families -- including mine -- have used the banquet room for special events; and many hungry customers have left with a smile on their faces. The old Ranch has seen a lot in the last 60 years, and hopefully will continue its traditions for the next 60.

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