San Leandro

Fundraiser Aims to Save Iconic San Leandro Sports Bar Impacted by Pandemic

Ricky's Sports Theatre and Grill has been open since 1946

A sports fan inside Ricky's Sports Theatre & Grill in San Leandro.
MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images

A well-known San Leandro sports bar may have to close after 74 years because of the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic on business, the owners made known recently. 

Ricky's Sports Theatre and Grill at 15028 Hesperian Blvd. is struggling financially.

"Nobody wants to be in this spot," Ricky's wife Tina Ricardo said in an interview. "I hope to get it back open."

It has been closed during the shelter-in-place order and still has bills to pay, wrote supporter Dr. Robert Gingery, a vascular surgeon, on a GoFundMe page to raise money for the bar.

Gingery is friends with Tina and Ricky.

As of Friday morning, Gingery's fundraiser had raised more than $7,000 of a $100,000 goal.

Tina Ricardo said it would cost close to $100,000 easily to open the bar back up. She doesn't have any money coming in now.

She said she appreciates the support she has gotten from everyone, especially those who she believes really can't help financially. That's the most touching part, she said.

"My thought a week ago there was no way" to reopen, she said.

Gingery wrote that he is hoping to raise enough money to perhaps have Ricky's open for outdoor dining.

"Financial help is urgently needed," he wrote.

He said Ricky Ricardo has a progressive medical condition and Tina Ricardo has been trying to manage the bar, which has been a popular place for fans of the former Oakland Raiders to watch games.

Tina Ricardo said Ricky would typically handle the back-office duties while she worked in the front of the bar. Now she must manage it all.

The Raiders will start their first season in Las Vegas this year.

"This has been the perfect storm of bad luck," Gingery wrote.

He said, "Many of us have gathered (there) to watch the Raiders, Golden State Warriors and the A's over the years."

He thinks Raider's owner Mark Davis should step up and help.

An email asking whether the Las Vegas Raiders wanted to comment on the possible closure of Ricky's was not immediately returned.

Gingery said he's been all over the country for conferences and hasn't ever come across a place like Ricky's.

"It would be a travesty to lose this historic place," he said.

Ricky's has been open since 1946.

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