Gran Ranchero offers Mexican cuisine

MICHAEL KELLY The Marietta Times Server Chelsea Morris delivers entrees to Sammie and Tom Sayre of Marietta at the Gran Ranchero restaurant Tuesday. The restaurant opened Nov. 11 in the old Ryan's location on Pike Street.

The scheduled grand opening of the Gran Ranchero restaurant Tuesday was postponed, but that didn’t deter the dining public. The restaurant, which has been open for business since Nov. 11, by 6 p.m. was rapidly filling up.

The Mexican food restaurant, with 10,000 square feet of floor area, offers three dining areas and a spacious bar in the back. The decor is territorial, with custom tile work, subdued earth colors and massive paintings.

It is the third restaurant in the Gran Ranchero group, with the others in Parkersburg and Athens, said company CFO Dan Gates as serving staff hustled past a small table off the welcome counter. The Pike Street building had been vacant since Ryan’s Restaurant closed in 2012, and Gates said it suited their purposes well.

“The location has a good traffic flow from Lowe’s and Walmart, it fit the whole profile,” he said.

Outside, a concrete patio with strategically placed short columns awaits a wagon-wheel railing.

“We’ll have a little bar out here in the summer,” Gates said.

The kitchen serves core Mexican cuisine, with fajitas and several burrito dishes, including four varieties of burrito grande, said general manager Roman Perez, but his chefs will be offering four to six new specialty dishes each month.

The Marietta restaurant is the flagship of the group, Gates said. The design was the vision of Raul Morales, a member of the ownership group, he said.

“This one is exceptionally beautiful,” Gates said. “The whole idea is that it’s very classy, made for people in Marietta. Here, people want to sit, dine and drink. The presentation is important, and the atmosphere.”

Perez said the restaurant has a staff of 24 and seats 250 people.

Another grand opening will be scheduled in about two weeks, Perez said.

Tuesday’s event was postponed due to a family emergency for the mayor.

At a glance

Gran Ranchero restaurant

≤ Location: 823 Pike St. (former location of Ryan’s).

≤ Square footage: 10,000.

≤ Staff: 24.

≤ Seating: 250.

≤ Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.