Editorial: Open Letter to The Ram

By Lon Tierney – the views herein do not necessarily reflect those of the River Time Staff, Corporate Officers, or our beloved customers. 

As many of our friends have recently lamented, we too are greatly saddened by the recent passing of the once-great food menu at The Ram. Gone, it seems, are the days of the Oven-Baked Focaccia Club and the Crispy Pork Belly Burger – replaced by a Mushroom Patty Melt and Corned Beef Quesadilla. We personally have felt that The Ram was a single constant in this ever changing world – one that we could count on to feed our hearts and souls when we were down and out. I personally felt despair when I realized that (after a long day at our brewery) I could no longer get my beloved Club. (Quote from our Main Man Neil: “I remember when you told me that The Ram changed their menu – it was like someone had crushed your boyhood dreams; like you were about to cry”.)

We have watched other great Washington-founded businesses go down a perilous journey to maximize revenue per customer. This seems to happen as they move away from their unique origins and personalized service. Companies such as Red Robin who recently closed their original location in the University District(tm) and now have a POS on every table to: get your kids to pay for dumb games, annoy you with ads, and let you check out faster )possibly because you will likely never see your server after the food was delivered by the kitchen staff).

What can we say about Red Robin though? Despite their drive for revenue, Red Robin has not forgotten the point of their existence – keep the things that make them great! Red Robin still keeps the amazing Royal Burger on its menu among the myriad of other treats begging for your attention. Another local favorite, The Rock, knows what’s up too: Wood Fired Kitchen, and microbrews – in that order. Don’t get us wrong – we love the Beer, but the Pizza is AMAZEBALLS! And they give our kids pizza dough to play with while we wait; talk about personalized service!

Depressed as we have been about the The Ram’s change in direction, we have had an epiphany which came in the form of a dream to our Main Man Neil (no joke, an honest dream last night at the River Time Bunkhouse): Neil saw us brewing in a Mall – hand crafting awesome beer. This dream included Troy fire roasting peppers for our P.I.G. via the heat from the direct-fire boil kettle. In a mall you ask? Yes! And that is where the epiphany comes in:

The Epiphany (or “The River Time Tentative Corporate Plan”):

As The Ram slowly goes out of business for not focusing on their market niche (Great Food and Good Beer at Shopping Malls), River Time will seek to take over those locations and provide a slightly different business model: Great Beer and Good Food meant to approximate the once-great food of The Ram.

We think that if we have the support of our customers, and if The Ram stays on their current trajectory, we can begin to execute this plan imminently. We ask that if any of our customers notice a Ram location with a ‘going out of business due to removing the Oven-Baked Focaccia Club’ sign in the window – please immediately contact our corporate office in Darrington, WA.


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