Customers flock to restaurant before it closes doors for good

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Las Vegas staple is shutting its doors for good. Ricardo’s Mexican Restaurant will close in just a couple weeks.

On Saturday, a crowd of customers ordered delicious dishes from Ricardo’s. Pickup at the counter was packed, while the chairs inside the Las Vegas staple sit empty.

Ricardo’s owner Bob Ansara told 8 News Now he’s saddened and frustrated. 

He came to Las Vegas and opened Ricardo’s in 1979, eventually moving and consolidating the fan-favorite to the Decatur and Flamingo location. But in the wake of Nevada’s COVID-19 shutdown, business has dropped 80%, and he’s also had to lay off around 60 staff members.

Ansara sees no path forward, so he’s closing his doors for good on may 18th.

“We never, in 100 years, thought that it would be like this,” said Ansara. “We don’t want to put public health in danger, but we also don’t want to lose money every day. We just decided that it was not a pill we wanted to swallow.”

People all across Las Vegas have made countless memories dining at the tables and booths inside Ricardo’s and now they’re doing what they can to support the restaurant during its final days.

Phones have been ringing off the hook to place orders since the closure was announced. Pickup and third-party delivery is still available daily, between 11:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

“I’m definitely going to give them some more support in these last remaining however amount of weeks, that’s for sure,” said customer Andy Swendroski. 

“We’ll do what we can to support them as long as they’re here,” added AJ Wells. “We like to come down for happy hour, just to walk down, we live right in the neighborhood here and it’s just a nice atmosphere. The place is usually busy.”

All Ansara can do now, is be grateful for the journey.

“It’s heartwarming, it’s humbling and it kind of adds to the sadness a little bit,” Ansara told 8 News Now. “Here we are 40 years later, kind of tapping out if you will. And there just aren’t enough ways to say thank you. Vegas has been great to me, my family, our team, so thank you.”

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