Take a coastal day trip and dine at River Ranch
When Ryan Blakeslee met Kim Adams, he had never worked in the restaurant industry. Kim, however, with ownership of three successful restaurants under her belt, was quite versed. The two met at a time when both were wanting to change directions in their life.
Kim, who at the time owned the Rustic Ranch Restaurant in Inverness, was thinking about opening a second location in Crystal River. Friends had shown her an appealing location but, financially, she was not sure if it was a good move for her at the moment. Ryan, who was in the service industry, had been saving money so that one day he could open a business of his own. After having showed the building to Ryan, he fell in love with the idea and the rest is history.
The River Ranch was opened as a sister location to Rustic Ranch in Inverness. The restaurant was so successful in the Crystal River area that the pair decided to close the Inverness location and focus solely on Crystal River.
Crystal River is a beautiful, coastal town which has laid claim as the home of the world’s largest manatee population. The area springs have been featured in National Geographic magazine and people come from all around the world to swim with the gentle giants often referred to as “Sea Cows.” Also calling guests to the area are the abundant scallop beds and fantastic fishing both inshore and offshore. “People from all over the world stop into our establishment. It is quiet the compliment to hear a world traveler tell us how much they have enjoyed dining with us,” says Ryan.
The River Ranch Restaurant is located in the heart of the Crystal River historic district on charming Citrus Avenue, just steps from the bay. The City of Crystal River runs a Trolley tour into the world-famous Three Sisters Springs which allows people to walk a boardwalk for viewing of the springs and manatees without getting wet. The trolley departs and returns within walking distance of the River Ranch. “A lot of people like to ride the trolley into the springs and then stop in here for a good meal afterwards,” explains Kim.
The River Ranch is housed in an old-Florida, “cracker style,” building with wood floors and wrap-around porch. Charm is added with memorabilia on the walls, a river rock hostess station and river rock bar with specialty top and backed by a log wall. The restaurant also has a gorgeous screened porch off the back where guests can dine and also bring their pets.” People say they love the décor as much as the food,” says Ryan. With items on the menu like Ahi Tuna, Florida Grown Steaks, Lobster, White Wine Seafood Pasta, Specialty burgers and more, that is hard to believe.
River Ranch is located at 631 N. Citrus Avenue in Crystal River. You are encouraged to visit the beautiful town of Crystal River and stop in to dine with them. Thursday nights are Buy One, Get One Free Steak night and they often have live music on the weekends. They are open Tuesday thru Sunday from 11am until 9pm (10pm on Fri & Sat), Closed Mondays. For more information, check out their ad in the Ocala Paper Net or call them at (352) 564-0902.