The Report of OB Rancho’s Death Is an Exaggeration – Now Due to Re-open in February

by on December 29, 2016 · 13 comments

in Culture, Economy, History, Ocean Beach

There’s been lots of rumors and reports of the closing of Rancho’s in Ocean Beach – the well-loved veggie Mexican restaurant on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard.

Eater San Diego went as far as including the closing of OB’s Ranchos on its list of “The Saddest Restaurant Closures of 2016”. The food blog quoted Troy Johnson of  San Diego Magazine:

Rancho’s in Ocean Beach. Vegan and vegetarian-friendly Mexican food that had been a staple for the community for 30 years. Salsa that renewed my faith in life. Its closing is a sure sign of the Armageddon and bistrofication of San Diego’s last affordable beach town.  Hopefully Cheesecake Factory will take its place so that I can finally throw myself off Sunset Cliffs with confidence.

Well, the OB Rag can now report – with some confidence – and paraphrasing Mark Twain’s famous quote,- that –

… the report of Rancho’s death is an exaggeration.

The restaurant will reopen in the same location – but probably with a slightly different name – in early February 2017.

Shazaam! (No, that’s not the name, just an expression.)

Hugo –  the onsite manager of Rancho’s for decades – told this reporter and two other reliable friends Tuesday evening while we all dined at an OB Thai eatery – that the restaurant will open its doors permanently by February 1st in the New Year. And it might be renamed “Hugo’s Ranchos” or something like that. It will serve the same food, he assured us.

Hugo’s role in the restaurant has expanded apparently. But this is good news for all those OBceans and others who enjoyed the delicious fare the place served up – one of the city’s first veggie Mexican sit-downs – for some 3 decades.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Judi December 29, 2016 at 10:15 am

In the same location?


Frank Gormlie December 29, 2016 at 10:27 am

Yes, thanks – I have since added that to the post.


Chris December 29, 2016 at 12:15 pm

“Shazaam! (No, that’s not the name, just an expression.)”



Chris December 29, 2016 at 12:17 pm

Anyway, glad it’s re-opening and staying in the same location.


Christo December 29, 2016 at 2:38 pm

While Ranchos has been open in 3 different decades, it has not been open for 30 years.

Stoked to have it back and even more stoked that Hugo’s role is expanding.

Just gotta be patient….


OB Mercy December 29, 2016 at 3:53 pm

Same food? Mostly that’s an ugh from me. They went totally downhill over the last few years. Dishes that I loved were slopped together with no regard to anything, no less flavor and quality of ingredients.

The only dish that I love there anymore and was still served in a delicious manner was their chicken veggie soup. Loaded with the meat and veggies and a fantastic and tasty broth that was equal to any chicken soup recipe. Especially if you had a cold and needed some Jewish penicillin.

Unless I hear otherwise, they won’t get any of my money except for that soup.


Tyler December 30, 2016 at 7:59 am

Yup. Stopped eating there 3 years ago for same reason.


Chris December 30, 2016 at 9:09 am

Interesting. Truth is I haven’t been to the OB Ranchos in a long time but still go the North Park location and most of the time it’s very good.


triggerfinger December 29, 2016 at 5:19 pm

With or without dancing waitresses and mariachis? Hugo is pretty good at making promises and handwritten signs. That’s about all I have confidence in regarding Ranchos. And don’t forget the lamb.


Mark L. January 3, 2017 at 6:35 pm

In all fairness, Hugo did NOT write the rambling and incoherent handwritten signs that were posted in the front windows of Ranchos over a period of weeks while the restaurant was shutting down. The signs were written by the previous owner who appeared to be undergoing a physical and mental crisis. From what I can share about the situation, the new “owners-to-be” — who are from OB — are experienced in the restaurant business and intent on making the new restaurant (whatever it will be named) a worthy (and improved) replacement for the old one. Stay tuned.


OB Mercy January 3, 2017 at 7:57 pm

Interesting Mark. I’ll be following this development closely.


Dave Lista February 27, 2017 at 6:32 pm

Never stopping loving Ranchos! Can’t wait to go back


Judy Collier December 30, 2016 at 7:40 am

We love Ranchos and I can’t wait for my shrimp and black bean tostada in the new year.


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