Closed Eight Years Ago, Ray’s Golden Lion Gears Up for Opening Night
One of the Tri-Cities' premiere musical entertainment venues with a rich history is set to open this weekend.
After some trials and tribulations with the older building in Richland's Uptown Shopping Center, co-owner and bartender Andrew McVay says Ray's Golden Lion is ready to entertain again.
"We're very, very excited. We have LA's number one Motley Crue tribute band coming in so it's going to be perfect for Halloween weekend and they rock and roll. They're better than Motley Crue sounds today." McVay said.
Ray's Golden Lion was a Chinese and Mongolian restaurant from 1963 to 2015. The former owner booked some big-name musical acts such as Frank Sinatra Jr., Ike and Tina Turner, Meatloaf and Tiny Tim. Many performing artists played at the venue through the 70's and 80's.
"He (owner) closed the business down in 2015. There were some discrepancies between him and the landlord. And then he actually passed away a year after that. So, we're reopening the business with the family's blessing under the same name, but just a different chapter." McVay said.
McVay and co-owner Talon Yager bought the business early this year and wanted to open this summer, but problems with the building's piping caused delays.
"We had a water pipe that was underground that fed to the main city line that burst and we had to get a six-foot hole dug up and get the trenches dug up back there so they could replace these old clay pipes back from the 40s. And then we had a water pipe burst out front as soon as we got that fixed." McVay said.
A pressure test on gas pipes for the kitchen showed leaks, delaying things further. McVay says he and Yager were running out of money when the community stepped up.
"Talon and I were in this place almost half a million dollars, and it just expended all of our funds and everything we can do but the community showed up in full force and got it to where we're going to be able to open." McVay said.
And with Saturday night's grand opening, McVay says he can't think of a better place than Richland to start their new venture.
"I love the city. I love the vibe that the Uptown gives. I think it's one of the very few spots in the Tri Cities that actually has, you know, a culture to it. And I just think it's the greatest place to be if you're going to do something like this." McVay added.
10 Long-Gone Eateries Tri-Cities Washington We Wished Were Still Here
Gallery Credit: Rik Mikals