Mudslide Destroys Olympia BBQ

2007/12/05 09:26:19
Sad story here, from this Week's storms:
Mudslide destroys popular Ranch House BBQ eatery

Christian Hill
The Olympian

"I just lost my whole life," said Amy Anderson, standing on sodden property where her restaurant stood until Monday.
Click here to find out more!

A mudslide destroyed Ranch House BBQ, located off state Route 8 near Summit Lake, washing away more than bricks and mortar, but also a dream briefly captured by Anderson and her business partner, Melanie Tapia.

No one was injured. Standing water and debris prompted the Washington State Patrol to close the section of state Route 8 indefinitely.

Anderson was an award-winning pitmaster, and Tapia had started a catering business in Everett. They met during a barbecue competition.

Four years ago, they decided to borrow $20,000 against their credit cards to open the restaurant at 10841 Kennedy Creek Road S.W.

It was a huge risk, but one that paid off. The restaurant earned $1,700 its first day; customers had eaten everything the restaurant cooked.

The success enabled the women to open a second take-out location in downtown Olympia known as Ranch House BBQ Xpress. They also had a catering business.

"We own three businesses, all of which I lost in one day," Tapia said.

Ranch House BBQ Xpress, which is not a full-service restaurant, could reopen today or Wednesday, Tapia said. Neither the main restaurant nor catering will resume any time soon, she said.

Tapia estimated the damage at $1 million, but she said she was told her insurance policy didn't cover flooding. Gov. Chris Gregoire declared a state of emergency Monday, and Tapia said she'll check to see if financial assistance might be available.

"It's not looking good for the time being," she said.

Around 10:30 a.m., Tapia said she heard a sound like a "clap of thunder."

"From the top of my property down, a whole mud wall came down," she says.

Saddest thing is the insurance probably not covering mudslides. (Who takes out Mudslide insurance?)
Filet Mignon
RE: Mudslide Destroys Olympia BBQ 2007/12/05 10:03:18
Too bad.

I'd eaten there on at least a couple of occasions.

This is an Roadfood loss for sure.

My best wishes to the owners on getting back up and running. Is a mudslide technically a flood?
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
RE: Mudslide Destroys Olympia BBQ 2007/12/05 14:19:06
What a shame. I hope they're eligible for help.
Junior Burger
RE: Mudslide Destroys Olympia BBQ 2007/12/18 02:14:30
Good news NW Roadfooders and visitors!

Here's a local update,

The Governor Hotel in downtown Olympia has offered their kitchen space to the Ranch House owners and will hopefully be cooking very soon. This is great news for everyone, as this is one of the finest BBQ establishments in this area:

Owners of flood-hit businesses work to salvage their companies

Rolf Boone
The Olympian

OLYMPIA — The Ranch House BBQ restaurant, destroyed in a rainstorm that swept through South Sound last week, has received a new lease on life.

Make that a free lease on life.

Restaurant co-owner Melanie Tapia is expected to announce today that kitchen space at the Governor Hotel has been donated to the business, free of charge.

Sandra Miller, vice president and general manager of the hotel, confirmed the offer Sunday night.

"We're very excited," Miller said. "Hopefully they will want to stay."

She said Southern Kitchen out of Tacoma had just left the hotel at the end of November to concentrate on its catering business.

"By chance, we had an open kitchen and restaurant," she said.

"I never thought someone could offer something on such a grand scale," Tapia said, adding that all 22 Ranch House employees will return to work.

Eventually, Tapia would like to rebuild the restaurant. She hopes she can do that in at least six months with the help of federal emergency funds.

The four-year-old west Olympia business suffered about $4 million in damage after the restaurant was flattened by a mudslide, Tapia said.

RE: Mudslide Destroys Olympia BBQ 2007/12/18 05:22:16
A devastating loss no doubt. Not being a restauranteur, I would hope that after 4 years if business was that good they should have saved enough for at least a restart. Or ia the profit margin always that close.
Filet Mignon
RE: Mudslide Destroys Olympia BBQ 2007/12/18 08:58:51
Thanks for the update ... That IS good news.

Junior Burger
RE: Mudslide Destroys Olympia BBQ 2008/01/07 07:34:48
Happy to report that the Ranch House is up and running in its new location! I'm hoping to get up there next weekend to enjoy.

OLYMPIA -- Some come to the Ranch House Barbecue for the ribs.

"It's the best in town. Got to come get it," raved a customer.

Others come for the chicken.

"They treat us like royalty here and the food is great," said another.

Some come for the pork sandwich.

But on Thursday, they all came for the owners.

"The place is awesome," said a customer over lunch. "Amy and Melanie are great people."

Amy Anderson and Melanie Tapia have owned Ranch House Barbecue for four years.

One month ago, they lost it. A mudslide 100 feet long and 15 feet tall spread their restaurant across Highway 8.

But Anderson and Tapia are not women who wallow in mud or in despair.

"We just dug our heels in here and started cleaning stainless steel and buying equipment and calling employees and saying, don't go look for a job," Anderson said. "We found something."

That 'something' came in the form of a gift. The general manager of the Governor Hotel in downtown Olympia offered up brand new restaurant space.

Tapia tearfully hugged the giver before the ribbon-cutting ceremony which marked the officially opening of the new restaurant.

"If it were not for this woman right here and her gift to Amy and I, we would not be here today," she said.

The first six months at the hotel will be rent free. But the customers are paying and they're lining up.

The governor and first gentleman were among the first guests.

"Looking forward to chowing down," said Mike Gregoire, smiling, as he walked in.

"Alright, we're going to take good care of you," the owners told him.

After shaking hands, greeting customers and getting a taste of ribs, the governor hugged both women, saying, "I love your spirit, courage. You're everything that we need from everyone in Southwest Washington."

Insurance won't pay a dime to salvage the Ranch House. FEMA turned them down.

But with friends and hard work, the restaurant is open.

And lunch never tasted sweeter.
Filet Mignon
RE: Mudslide Destroys Olympia BBQ 2008/01/07 07:59:40
Thanks again.
Ort. Carlton.
Filet Mignon
RE: Mudslide Destroys Olympia BBQ 2008/01/07 23:38:52
Sorry about the initial sad news, but it sure is good to see such a place rebound. I lost a then-favorite eatery (Wishbones on South Harris Street here in Athens) to a fire some years ago; I still drive by the cleared-out lot and wax nostalgic. Fortunately folks in Olympia don't have to do that. Here's to everyone involved!
UnPityingly, Ort. Carlton in It's-The-Pits Athens, Georgia.
P. S. There isn't even one single real pit BBQ place in this town, but there's some good 'cue cooked on smokers hereabouts.
RE: Mudslide Destroys Olympia BBQ 2008/11/17 09:00:12
double bummer:

Another setback for Olympia's Ranch House BBQ

05:51 PM PST on Sunday, November 16, 2008


OLYMPIA, Wash. – The owners of a popular restaurant that was severely damaged by a mudslide last December suffered another setback Sunday when a fire broke out in the building under construction.

The fire in the Ranch House BBQ was reported at about 11:30 a.m. Lt. DJ Brimer with McLane Black Lake Fire Dept said firefighters found heavy smoke when they arrived on the scene. Once they determined that the fire was in the roof, they took a defensive stance.
Filet Mignon
RE: Mudslide Destroys Olympia BBQ 2008/11/17 09:19:04
That sucks.
mr chips
Filet Mignon
RE: Mudslide Destroys Olympia BBQ 2008/11/17 10:19:47
RE: Mudslide Destroys Olympia BBQ 2008/11/18 11:08:42
The owners are suing the state of Washington:

RE: Mudslide Destroys Olympia BBQ 2008/11/18 12:55:24
These folks sure have had a run of misfortune. I hope everything works out for them. Especially regarding their lawsuit.
Filet Mignon
RE: Mudslide Destroys Olympia BBQ 2009/03/03 15:10:09
According to their web site they have moved back to the original.

No pictures.  We need a report from the field.  I ate there once and found it to be a worthy stop.
Filet Mignon
RE: Mudslide Destroys Olympia BBQ 2010/04/23 13:36:11
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Mudslide Destroys Olympia BBQ 2010/04/23 15:27:54