Restaurant offers free Chrsitmas lunch

Tony Parra

Through the guidance of the Lord the Garcias say they have decided to open the doors to their El Rancho Restaurant to welcome families on Christmas Day for a free lunch.
“It’s been placed in my heart,” Joe Garcia, co-manager of the El Rancho Restaurant, said about hosting the dinner. “I’ve been contemplating this for a while. Me and my wife have been blessed with a new home and my wife is 11 weeks pregnant. We want to give back to the community.”
Joe and his wife Jamie Garcia are going to have their first baby.
The El Rancho Restaurant will be hosting the free lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is the first year El Rancho has had a free Christmas lunch open to the public. El Rancho is managed by a four-way family partnership of Ruben Garcia (father), Sara Garcia (mother), Josie Garcia (grandmother) and Joe (son).
“I have been really blessed with a big family,” Joe said. “We have a huge gathering for every Christmas. I thought about the people who are not as fortunate. We want to welcome those people who are alone and don’t have any family to our family. It’s not just for the poor people.”
Joe and his wife said everything has worked out in the planning of the free Christmas lunch.
“The lord has helped us throughout the process,” Jamie said. “We didn’t know how we were going to be able to pay for it and he (the Lord) helped us (save up money). We weren’t sure who was going to help us and he (Lord) provided that for us (El Rancho employees volunteered). Then we weren’t sure how we were going to get the word out and today we had a newspaper writer ask about it. We felt like he (Lord) was able to do it all with his hand.”
Joe said he manages the restaurant during the week, but enjoys cooking for his customers during the weekend.
“I enjoy working as a cook during the weekend,” Joe said. “It helps me connect with our customers and build a relationship with them. I know most of our customers so well that I know what they want to order before they even say a word. It gives me joy to be able to have that connection with our customers.”
El Rancho has been open since 1989.