Ramon’s Cactus Patch closes

Say it ain’t so! But it is. Ramon’s Cactus Patch, a Mexican restaurant in existence in Ontario since 1938, had its last day of business March 30.

Owner and founder Ramon Sanchez, who will turn 99 on May 21, has colon cancer and his illness has put too much of a strain on the family-run restaurant, the family told me Friday. The restaurant is typically closed Sunday and Monday. On Sunday, during a family meeting, they decided not to reopen Tuesday.

I’ll have the story in Sunday’s column. The banner pictured above hangs outside the restaurant and represents Sanchez’ farewell message to customers.

Sanchez began serving Mexican food in Ontario in 1937 at a cantina and opened his own restaurant the following year in the Orange Hotel downtown before moving in 1962 to 647 W. California St. in the barrio. Ramon’s Cactus Patch, which has a cactus garden out front, is Ontario’s longest-operating restaurant.

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  • Are there any others in the IE that are older?

    • davidallen909

      Sycamore Inn comes to mind. It opened in 1921.

  • Gavin

    Cancer is a terrible exit; there really is no “lesser evil.” What Ramon faces reminds me of Rob Morsberger, a singer/songwriter, who is in his final stage of brain cancer but continues to compose and sing. There’s a poignant interview of Rob on NPR, if that’s even a glimpse of what Ramon and Rob go through as they carry on.


    • Gavin

      Rob Morsberger, at 53, passed away Sunday June 2.