Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.
For longtime regular Gerald Ford, and many others in Evansville, for the past twelve years, Ri Ra Irish Pub was that place.
“It wasn’t like a regular bar, it had the Irish feel, but then it wasn’t loud and obnoxious, or just a bunch of goofy people, it was actually real friends,” said Ford.
Ford, like many Tri-Staters say they were caught off guard by the restaurant and bar’s abrupt closing this weekend.
“I kind of thought they were joking,” said Ford.
“It seems like it’d be a good spot, because the Casino is there and people are walking around and its really close, none of the restaurants are open, its kind of odd,” said Dusty Shockley, another Ri Ra’s customer.
The pub announced on Facebook Monday morning its doors will not be re-opening, citing “difficult trading conditions” as the reason why.
Ri Ra and its landlord, Tropicana Evansville are staying tight lipped on the subject, leaving Ford and others to fill in the blanks for now themselves.
“The locations not the greatest here, and the fact that they opened a new bar right across the street, I think that had a lot to do with it,” said Ford, referring to the new Tropicana land based Casino that opened next door to the pub this past fall.
Ford, and many others are now left to find a new hot spot for Evansville’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration, just two weeks away.
“We were all going to meet up here and hang out, now we don’t have our place, so I’m not really sure what were going to do,” said Ford.
Ford says whether its saying good bye to his favorite hangout, or re-living the many years of memories, its the people, not the place that make the bar, making him and many others always glad they came.