Ricky's sports bar is official home of Raiders Nation

December 5, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
With the Oakland Raiders taking on their big rival the Denver Broncos, the party has already started at Ricky's Sports Theatre and Grill in San Leandro. It is the official home of the Raider Nation and we dropped in for a visit recently.

Ricky's has been an East Bay institution since 1946. It started in Hayward and moved to its current location in San Leandro.

"We moved here in '62. The Raiders were just getting put together in 1960 and stuff," said Ricky Ricardo.

He took over the place from his father. No, his father isn't the famous husband of Lucille Ball.

"I am the real guy," said Ricardo. The real Ricky runs what's now known as a sports bar. He said, "We were a sports bar before there was even anything called a sports bar."

The walls are covered with Raider memorabilia; it's a museum to Raider greatness. Ricky's is ground zero for fans to rally before a game and it means a lot to them.

"What this is to us, a family place. Yeah we're crazy Raiders fans, but this is still a family place," said Ben Newsom of San Leandro.

"We had our 25th year anniversary here. We've been married for 25 years and this is great place to be here," said James Ruiz.

"You feel at home here. When you come here, you don't feel like a stranger here, you're family," said Veronica Ruiz.

"It's just like being at home," said Victor Bell of Concord.

Ricky's isn't just a place for Raiders fans to come on game day. The night before a home game, it is where the Raider Nation meets and get riled up and ready for a silver and black victory. They are even a complete venue with entertainment from a Raider band called "Raider Head."

The Raider rally at Ricky's brings fans out from around the Bay Area and the state.

Beil: You don't bleed red, you bleed silver and black.
Ray Perez of Sacramento: Absolutely, silver and black through my veins.

"I am from Los Angeles, California. I came up here to support my Raiders, I am a big time Raider fan," said Mike Beltran of Los Angeles.

And they'll be partying all night at Ricky's in anticipation of Thursday's big game on ABC7.


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