Raiders fans mourn death of beloved sports bar owner

Bay Area

SAN LEANDRO (KRON) — “Mecca.” “Haven.” “Home.” Those are a just a few of the words regulars use to describe the famed gathering spot for Bay Area sports fans, Ricky’s Sports Theatre and Grill in San Leandro.

Now, loyal patrons and friends are mourning the death of owner Ricky Ricardo, Jr.

Ricardo passed away at age 75 last weekend, after battling dementia for several years. But even as his own memory began to fade, Ricardo’s bar remained the go-to gameday destination for legions of Raiders fans.

Drawn in by the stunning collection of Raiders memorabilia, they stayed for the warm, loving environment Ricardo and his wife Tina created.

“He was just such a warm, caring, guy who treated everybody so well that you couldn’t help but love the guy,” said Dr. Robert Gingery.

Ricardo was so beloved by Raiders fans that they inducted him as an official member of the black hole. And when super fans Gorilla Rilla and Jungle Jane got married in 2012, Ricardo and Tina walked the bride down the aisle.

“He hugged Gorilla and said ‘I give you Marilyn,’ just like any dad would do,” Jungle Jane described.

As news spread of Ricardo’s passing, a makeshift memorial appeared in front of Ricky’s.

The bar has been forced to close during COVID-19. A GoFundMe was established to help Ricky’s reopening after the pandemic, but its future remains in jeopardy.

“It would be tragic for that iconic place to be lost,” Gingery said.

Whether or not the bar bearing his name can open its doors once again, the legacy of Ricky Ricardo will burn bright in the Bay Area.

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