Saturday, September 20, 2014     Volume: 15, Issue: 28
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Santa Maria Sun / Biz Spotlight

The following article was posted on August 5th, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 15, Issue 22 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 15, Issue 22

Spotlight on: Rancho Bowl

Viki Murray, owner

BY AMY ASMAN


TALENTED TRIO
Rancho Bowl owner Viki Murray (center), office manager Ashlee Carranza, and new chef Brenda Vasquez told the Sun they’re very excited about the renovations taking place at the bowling alley/restaurant/bar/barbershop, which Murray’s father, Mili Acquistapace, built in 1959.
PHOTO BY AMY ASMAN

Come September, beloved local business Rancho Bowl is going to look like a new bowling alley with the same classic Santa Maria style.

In a recent interview with the Sun, owner Viki Murray said the overhaul started almost by chance, when she and her staff noticed something strange: “The ceiling looked funny, like it was dropping,” she said.

Further investigation revealed that the ceiling tresses were sagging and needed to be repaired. That was the beginning of what has turned into a four-stage renovation that will include a new menu from Brenda Vasquez, a former Rancho Bowl bartender who studied at the Arizona Culinary Institute.

“Todd Edwards at Vernon Edwards construction told me, ‘You have a fantastic building. There’s no other place on the Central Coast that has 32 bowling lanes,’” Murray said, but it was time to revamp what’s inside the building.

During Stage 1, construction crews repaired the ceiling and added new acoustics, lighting, projectors, sound systems, and even fire extinguishers.

Stage 2, which is currently in process, includes redoing the floors, adding a second level, and bringing in new couches, coffee tables, and computer screens. The “easy touch” computer screens will feature a state-of-the-art scoring system called Qubica AMF that allows players to customize their backgrounds with personal photos. People will also be able to instant message players at other stations and have access to Facebook, games, and emoticons.

For Stage 3, crews are going to build a two-level bar—“It’s going to have a horseshoe in the middle,” Murray said—with USB ports. The bar will stretch into the newly renovated dining area. Stage 4 will see the creation of an outdoor eating area with new landscaping and fresh paint on the exterior.

But that’s not everything in the renovation hopper.

In addition to a new logo and new shoes, balls, and vending games, Rancho Bowl will have an expanded menu created by Vasquez.

“We’re going to have a sandwich with oak-pit barbecue pork loin, the Mac Attack burger with mac ’n’ cheese and spicy Sriracha ketchup,” Vasquez said. “Of course, we’ll still have Santa Maria-style tri-tip.

The menu will include some lighter, healthier options, too.

“We’re going to have salads and wraps, and all of the dressings are homemade,” she said, adding that she plans to incorporate more fresh local produce into the meals. “We have so much amazing produce right here.”

For snacks and sweets, Vasquez said there will be kimchi fries, fried pickles, and chips and salsa, and “huge, homemade rice crispy treats,” cookies, and ice cream sandwiches.

“We’re going to have a kids’ menu,” she added. “The breakfast is going to be the same, but with some lighter options, too.”

The bartender-turned-chef said she’s excited to be at Rancho Bowl again, but this time in her own kitchen.

“It’s like family down here,” she said. “A lot of the employees have worked here for over 30 years.”

Murray said she’s planning a grand opening in early September, at which point she plans to expand the business’ hours.

Rancho Bowl is located at 128 E. Donovan Road. For more information, including current hours, visit facebook.com/RanchoBowl.

 

Managing Editor Amy Asman wrote this week’s Biz Spotlight. Information should be sent to the Sun via fax, email, or mail.