Happy to report that the Ranch House is up and running in its new location! I'm hoping to get up there next weekend to enjoy. http://www.komotv.com/news/local/13065872.html
OLYMPIA -- Some come to the Ranch House Barbecue for the ribs.
"It's the best in town. Got to come get it," raved a customer.
Others come for the chicken.
"They treat us like royalty here and the food is great," said another.
Some come for the pork sandwich.
But on Thursday, they all came for the owners.
"The place is awesome," said a customer over lunch. "Amy and Melanie are great people."
Amy Anderson and Melanie Tapia have owned Ranch House Barbecue for four years.
One month ago, they lost it. A mudslide 100 feet long and 15 feet tall spread their restaurant across Highway 8.
But Anderson and Tapia are not women who wallow in mud or in despair.
"We just dug our heels in here and started cleaning stainless steel and buying equipment and calling employees and saying, don't go look for a job," Anderson said. "We found something."
That 'something' came in the form of a gift. The general manager of the Governor Hotel in downtown Olympia offered up brand new restaurant space.
Tapia tearfully hugged the giver before the ribbon-cutting ceremony which marked the officially opening of the new restaurant.
"If it were not for this woman right here and her gift to Amy and I, we would not be here today," she said.
The first six months at the hotel will be rent free. But the customers are paying and they're lining up.
The governor and first gentleman were among the first guests.
"Looking forward to chowing down," said Mike Gregoire, smiling, as he walked in.
"Alright, we're going to take good care of you," the owners told him.
After shaking hands, greeting customers and getting a taste of ribs, the governor hugged both women, saying, "I love your spirit, courage. You're everything that we need from everyone in Southwest Washington."
Insurance won't pay a dime to salvage the Ranch House. FEMA turned them down.
But with friends and hard work, the restaurant is open.
And lunch never tasted sweeter.