History of Richard's Prime Rib & Seafood
Richard Stockle opened Richard's Prime Rib & Seafood on Belmont Ave. in downtown Fresno in the summer of 1969, and original plans called for a beer bar, a couple of pool tables and offered some gaming on the side. When expenses came to be too much during preparations, the entrepreneur decided to scratch the original plans and turn the establishment into a restaurant. Richard's became a Fresno hotspot for its juicy steaks and fresh seafood. In its early days, the restaurant occupied only the bar side, which seats 40 comfortably. Five years later, Richard purchased the other side of the building, which used to be a bank. The restaurant’s capacity expanded to 115.
History of Richard’s Prime Rib & Seafood
On July 1, 2005, 36 years to the day after he opened Richard’s, Richard decided to sell the restaurant, only to regain it a few years later after it closed due to the owner defaulting on payments. The place was in a shambles. There were holes in the walls, the bar was on the ground, and an air conditioning unit was taken off the roof. Richard’s required a full remodeling, and the bar moved from the west side to the east side. The Stockle family restored the restaurant to a condition better than when Richard bought it in 1969. Soft lighting and tasteful nude artwork decorated the place, and the quality of food also returned. A popular menu item is “The Something Good,” a New York steak wrapped in a flour tortilla with melted cheese. Another favorite is “The Something Special,” an open-faced New York steak sandwich. Also popular is “The Beef Eater,” which is deli-thin, sliced prime rib served as a French dip.
Richard's is a true family-run restaurant. Richard's grandson Ben Stockle now serves as the restaurant Vice President and Chief Operating Officer and takes great pride in greeting guests and stopping by tables to check on customers carrying on his grandfather’s tradition of treating people like family and never having a customer walk out upset. Ben’s wife Valdosta Stockle now serves as the restaurant's General Manager and bakes all of our homemade desserts.
Even though Richard's has undergone numerous changes over the years some things remain constant: great food, a wonderful atmosphere and a staff that welcomes its guests as if they were family.