Ronnie Boals got his first taste of the restaurant business at age 18. “I accepted an entry level position,” he says, “doing clean-up at a local drive-in.” Ronnie was an enterprising, hard-working youth with big ideas, destined to go far. In time, he would earn a well-deserved reputation as an enthusiastic hands-on operator. He would become known for personally seeing to it that his customers receive only the finest food and service. Ronnie would devote more than 40 years to making people happy, constantly defining and refining the right mix of great seafood and steaks, fresh quality ingredients and warm hospitality presented in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere.
Of course, at age 18, all this was still in his future. At the time, what he needed was a job. Ronnie got more than that. He got his foot in the door of what he describes as a very satisfying career in the restaurant business. Ask Ronnie about it and he’ll highlight a few dates in particular. In 1967 he was only 23 “with more guts than common sense” when he opened his first restaurant on Shem Creek. It was the first of eight he’s owned, four of them built along Shem Creek.
The year 1979 is another stand-out in Ronnie’s memory. “It marked the opening of the original R.B.’s Seafood Restaurant on Shem Creek,” he says. “It had 35 seats and was located in an old fish shed. Talk about a relaxed setting!” He never lost sight of his mission to serve great food in a casual, family-friendly setting. He keeps his prices family-friendly as well. “I work hard to create a place where you come when you’re hungry – not just for your birthday,” says Ronnie.
That commitment was tested in the spring of 2002 when fire completely destroyed the building. in a triumph of spirit and determination, Ronnie re-opened the doors in September 2003. “R.B.’s now features the most up-to-date kitchen and facilities on the coast,” he says. Indeed, R.B’s Seafood Restaurant is known in these parts for fresh seafood, friendly service and fair prices – a fitting testament to its founder’s success.