By Mike Biddison
Paul’s Place, a popular Merced eatery at G and Alexander streets, served its final tasty, reasonably priced meals at this location last Sunday.
Foodies and fans of the restaurant need not despair, however. The establishment, known as Ryan’s Place when it first opened in 1989, is now set to undergo its third resurrection in as many decades on the north side of Merced at the new Yosemite Crossing mini-mall.
The cafe became Paul’s Place in 1994, after owner Paul Ibarra split with his business partner. In 2018 Paul retired, selling the place to Ron and Loreli Stapp, who own several other area restaurants from Merced to Mariposa. The new owners will rename Paul’s, “Yosemite Station,” a name it will wear when reopening as the only full-service, sit-down eating establishment in Yosemite Crossing, located across from Raley’s Market at G Street and Yosemite Avenue.
The same friendly crew who now run Paul’s, numbering 24 employees, including Chef Walter Rodriguez, and Manager Suzanne Perry, will make the move to the new digs. Approximately the same number of diners will be accommodated inside as before, with additional seating for 25 to 30 people in an outside patio area. Owner Ron Stapp promises the menu will not change, with the possible exception of some new dishes, and an expanded wine and beer list.
They will continue to be open seven days a week, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The exact date for the reopening has not yet been set, with many details still to cope with, but they are shooting for two to three weeks from now. Watch this space.