SPRING TOWNSHIP — When Sue Frymoyer came upon that the Circle S Ranch House was closing, she stated to her husband Tim: “It’s like ‘Cheers’ is going off the air for a second time.”
“That’s the way this place was,” Tim Frymoyer stated as he and his spouse sat all the way down to eat on the Ranch House Friday, April 8. “Everybody knew everybody.”
The Ranch House, the 2738 Penn Ave. eating establishment famed for its “old-fashioned ice cream” and Old West decor, introduced its closure in a March 30 Facebook publish. Friday was its final day of operation, and employees and clients alike all stated the identical factor; the Ranch House was the go-to place for meals and friendship.
Carl Riedler of Wernersville stopped by the restaurant to present crimson roses to the waitstaff.
“We’ve been packed ever since we made the announcement that we’re closing,” stated co-owner Scott Schell. “The response from the community has been incredible. We’ll miss that. They’ve kept us here for 49 years.”
Schell, 68, based the Ranch House in 1973 together with his brother Dennis and father Paul.
“It’s been my whole life,” he stated. “Every nook, every cranny, everything that’s happened.”
Scott Schell stated that he and his brother are usually not retiring, however downsizing. They will nonetheless personal Schell’s Restaurant and the Dairy Swirl in Temple, however are stepping away from the Ranch House to spend time with their grandchildren.
“The stories I heard the past week are incredible,” Schell stated Friday. “Grandchildren, great grandchildren. People that have come from far away to be here this week. It’s incredible. Everyone has a story. I may not know their names but I know them. There’s a lot of hugging, a lot of tears.”
Like many who have been having dinner on the Ranch House for the final time, the Frymoyers have been common clients. They ate with Barbara Shunk and her husband Terry, eating below a mounted pistol labeled “The legendary arm of Wyatt Earp.”
“I feel sad for the people who have worked here for so long,” Barbara Shunk stated.
She will miss the Ranch House’s fried hen. Sue Frymoyer will miss the grilled pretzel bun.
Dennis Schell, who turned 70 on Saturday, stated that in current days the Ranch House generally felt like a funeral.
“It’s been overwhelming,” he stated. “People saying ‘We’re so sorry’ and ‘It’s such a loss for the community.’ We have a lot of elderly couples who have eaten here for 25-30 years, and they’re losing their place to go. It pulls at your heart, a little bit.”
Dennis Schell stated that the closure of the Ranch House will give him extra time to deal with “typical old person stuff.”
“It’s been our life,” he stated. “Scott and I started it from scratch, and with the help of Beth, ran it for many, many years.”
Beth Raven has been the Ranch House’s supervisor for 39 years.
“It’ll probably hit me next week,” she stated concerning the restaurant’s closure. “I’m happy to see that we had people come out to support us for our last shift.”
Raven isn’t positive what’s subsequent for her. She stated she has been so busy, she hasn’t had time to consider it.
“I met a lot of the people in the community,” she stated, “made a lot of friends, had some of the best staff a restaurant could ever want.”
Jordan Adam, who labored on and off on the Ranch House for 5 years, began to cry as she remembered her time there.
“It was like a family,” she stated. “I felt comfortable coming back here after I moved. I knew I would feel welcome. This has been a humbling experience, seeing it close.”
“We brought her here when she was a baby,” her mom Suzanne Adam stated.
“It was a part of growing up,” stated her father Ronnie Adam. “Milestones were spent here, football games were celebrated here.”
“I have to say it’s been a great run,” Dennis Schell stated. “Every business has its ups and downs, but when we had tough times our employees stood by us and so did our customers.”
Scott Schell thanked the folks of Berks County for supporting the Ranch House all through its historical past, together with after the devastating hearth of 1996.
“It’s been very sad,” he stated. “There’s been some tears shed, but it’s been such a good ride, 49 years. I certainly have no regrets. It’s gonna be hard to walk out of here tonight.”