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Our Story

The Story of Ray's - The Opening

"The name Ray’s is remembered by many in the area for great food.  It all started in 1964 when my father and mother opened a drive-in, in Kelso.  In 1967, they modified our home and opened it to the public as Ray’s House of Pizza and Steaks and offered some of the area’s best food in a unique atmosphere that our  reputation started from.  We closed the business in 1976 because of Dad’s health related issues and after 30 years;  my wife Cindy and I rekindled the fire.  Our old house no longer stands, but the recipes and philosophies I grew up with are not forgotten."    - Ray Ressel

13 years of great food

Opened in 2004, Ray's had over a decade of great food and service and was well known in the area as "the place to be", especially for birthday and anniversary celebrations or even business dinners.  If you asked around, "where can i get a good steak?", the answer was always, "Ray's!"  

In late 2015, Ray had a stroke and was taken to the hospital.  He came out fine with only some short term memory loss, but the doctors told him he had to "de-stress" his life or this was bound to happen again.  So for the next few years, changes were set in motion in an effort to get him out of the stressful life of a restaurant owner.

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Rays sons to take over

In late 2015, Ray had a stroke and was taken to the hospital.  He came out fine with only some short term memory loss, but the doctors told him he had to "de-stress" his life or this was bound to happen again.  So for the next few years, changes were set in motion in an effort to get him out of the stressful life of a restaurant owner.

In early 2016, Ray had an interested buyer in the business that was going to assume ownership and run things as they were, but that deal fell through towards the end.  This caused Ray's sons to make the decision to run the business in his stead as part owners.  
(James on the left) - Catering chef and R&M
(Jason in the middle) - Restaurant Manager of Ray's of Kelso
(Greg on the right) - CEO of the Ray's Brand (Banquets, Catering, Restaurant)


The closing of the restaurant

The boys ran the restaurant for almost a year along side Ray's Plaza Banquet Center.  Early 2017, they had another interested buyer and were able to close the deal at the end of February.  This deal was for the Kelso property and equipment, for the buyer to do with as he pleased, thus ending the 13 year run of Ray's of Kelso.  Greg will maintain ownership of Ray's Plaza Banquet Center and the sons will continue to serve the Cape Girardeau area with quality banquet and catering services for years to come.

"We thank you, everyone, for being part of our journey.  We will miss the restaurant as much as anyone, but we are glad to see a revitalization in the Kelso community with the buyers bar and grill.   It has been our pleasure to serve you all and we thank you for the reputation you have granted us and we hope to see you for your banquet or catering needs while we uphold that reputation." - Greg, Jason, James