Landmark eatery will not reopen, Ricardo’s owner cites valley’s long path to economic recovery
Heidi Knapp Rinella
Las Vegas Review-Journal
May 1, 2020
After more than 40 years in Las Vegas, Ricardo’s Mexican Restaurant has reached the end of the road.
Like a number of other dining establishments in Southern Nevada, it has been holding on by doing takeout, from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily.
“But that’s really a Band-Aid,” said owner Bob Ansara, who added that his crew of 67 workers has been reduced to four, as the restaurant does about 20 percent of its regular sales volume. He plans to continue the service until the Nevada restaurant industry gets the OK to re-open its dining rooms.
“We’ll be here, ironically, until the governor opens us up,” Ansara said. “We’re going to close the day he opens the city. I don’t see re-opening (the restaurant) making any sense.”
Ansara said he decided to close because of a number of factors.
“I’ve been doing it for 40 years and eight months. Not that I don’t have another 10 in me,” said Ansara, 67, “because I do.” In making his decision, he considered his location at Flamingo Road and Decatur Boulevard, the changing demographics of the area and how much money he would need to invest in the business.
“I just don’t see a clear path forward,” he said. “When you take into consideration the hurt of the last two months and what it’s going to take to regenerate the business, and when I look ahead to the next 18 months and see what those months will be like … .”
Ansara trailed off, but he’s clearly thought long and hard about those months.
“I don’t think our recovery’s going to come all at once,” he said. “I think it’s going to be in dribs and drabs and starts and fits. If 300,000 people are out of work today, they’re not going to get rehired at the end of May.”