Ron's Family Restaurant
Ron's Family Restaurant
I've been traveling to the Wisconsin plants a lot of late. We have eight plants throughout Cheeseland. One of our plants is in Bloomer and to get to it you have to go through Eau Claire and to go through Eau Claire means to pass by Ron's Family Restaurant. I've talked about Ron's before at my list group, Chicken_Talk and as far as I'm concerned, it has the biggest ceramic chicken on top of a restaurant as there is in the world (maybe). Unimpressive perhaps, considering that I rarely leave Wisconsin and so have only had a chance to sample a small portion of the potential ceramic chickens on top of restaurants that could exist in the world. Still, it is the biggest ceramic chicken I have ever seen and until proven otherwise I will believe it in fact *IS* the largest CCOTOAR (ceramic chicken on top of a restaurant) in the entire world.
In the back of my mind, on the first two or three trips through Eau Claire to Bloomer, I thought about eating at Ron's. On the fourth, I regretted that I hadn't. So Thursday when I headed up to Bloomer, I decided I would eat at Ron's and maybe learn some things about the chicken on the roof.
Ron's was pretty much like a Country Kitchen or Perkins and for loners they had a few seats by a counter next to the cash register. So I sat up at the counter and looked around for Ron. As it turns out, Ron was actually not good in business and sold Ron's off years ago but people liked the name so they left it. Really, it was more a money thing than anything. The sign, the napkins, the matches, the coupons – you don't want to change all that. That is what the waitress said anyway.
My waitress didn't seem to know much about the chicken. In fact, at first she told me it was very good. But I didn't mean cooked, I meant the chicken on the roof. Unfortunately, she didn't take a very big interest in the chicken. It was just on the roof. It had always been there in the three years she'd been there. She didn't pay it much attention. I asked if it had a name or a nickname and she said not that she was aware of. I asked her how tall it was and she said maybe two or three feet tall. This chicken is at least two of me?!?!? At least, 11 to 12 feet tall. Bigger even. Three feet? She said she really didn't care. She didn't go check so she could revise her estimate. Even after I asked politely, she still didn't want to go out and look and rethink her pathetically low initial guestimate.
Then she turned it like there was something odd with me for asking about the ceramic chicken; for wondering what the chicken's name was, or its exact height. And then I slipped out that I'd already laid claim on my listgroup Chicken_Talk that Ron's Family Restaurant had the largest CCOTOAR in the entire world. I had to then tell her what CCOTOAR was. And I refused to elaborate much about what Chicken_Talk actually is because I was smart enough to realize that explaining this listgroup could make me seem strange. But still, it seems odd to me that Phyllis* (the waitress) would have the gall to call me odd when she took no interest in a ceramic chicken that certainly must be some kind of Eau Claire mascot or landmark.
"Does Ron's advertise?", I asked.
"Yes", says Phyllis.
"When it's time to say where Ron's is located don't they say it's under the chicken on Seymour Rd off Hwy 53?", I questioned.
No, they don't they say, "Located on Peebles Street seven buildings down from Tony's Scrumptious Deli". The guy next to me, Fred**, informed Phyllis that Tony's is full and when that happens he settles for "the chicken". He also added that the ceramic chicken was about 40 feet tall and its wings used to flap on mechanical hinges. Fred added that the chicken's name was Grace and it laid eggs occasionally. He believed it was either created and given to Ron by the French or he got it from Pizza Villa when they went bust. I think 40 feet is definitely an over estimate but I was happy to have some agreement in the away from the 3 foot chicken position Phyllis held. I also thought that Fred had confirmed for me that Ron's lack of using the ceramic chicken in advertising was only helping Tony's down the street. But as it turns out it's just because the food at "the chicken" is not very good. In fact Tony's says "just seven buildings up from the chicken" in his ads.
Fred made a lot of sense for someone who was having a bowl of water and hadn't bathed potentially since 2004. He definitely gave me a lot of information about Grace the ceramic chicken. I don't think much of it was accurate however. I thought I'd get some other information about the chicken on the top of Ron's Restaurant but the next three groups of people who came in all seemed confused that I mentioned there was a ceramic chicken there at all and one man ran out of the restaurant and verified that there actually was a chicken up there and did *I* know that? So I've stuck with Fred's information. The chicken's name is Grace and it is about 40 feet tall.
I must say though, that Fred was wrong about the food at Ron's. I thought my first bite of chicken sandwich was very good. And so did Fred I guess, to the point that I just gave it to him so he'd stop looking at me and then at his bowl of water and then at me and then at the water – y'know with a bit of licking his lips and choreographed stomach growling. I was pretty disheartened by the whole Ron's Family experience. By that time I just paid Fred's bill for my food and left. It was okay. Tony's down the way made a wicked Garibaldi.
*The waitresses name actually is Phyllis. At least it was on her name tag.
**Fred is not the real name for the guy at the counter unless by accident. But Fred was nicer than "psycho drunk who I did not initially notice was enjoying a cup of water prior to my saying I would sit at the counter" and it is shorter than that nickname.