Category Archives: September 2021
Dunmorean of the Month: Bob Ragnacci
By Steve Svetovich
Serving the public with high quality dining at affordable pricing has been Bobby Ragnacci’s forte for the past 40 years.
His business, Ragnacci’s Restaurant, 507 S. Blakely St., Dunmore, is one of the best known establishments in the area.
Son of Antoinette and the late Robert Ragnacci, the long-time restaurant owner, a 1973 Dunmore graduate, received a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from East Stroudsburg University in 1977.
He quickly became a teacher at the Dunmore Elementary Center, but was furloughed in 1979-80 before going back to teaching there again in 1989 until he retired in 2015.
Still, he found out during his furlough from teaching that the restaurant business was in his blood.
His uncle, August DiBiasie, opened the restaurant in 1963 and ran it until 1981 when it was known as Sharkey’s.,
“I worked there in high school and then again in college, so I had a feel for it,” said Ragnacci, “I started teaching at Dunmore, but when I got furloughed, that is what pushed it for me to be in the restaurant business. I bought the business from my uncle in 1981. I eventually started teaching at Dunmore again in 1989, so I needed help from the family to keep running the business.
“I had a lot of help from my wife and early on from my uncle. My mom helped out a lot in the restaurant. My mom is 88 now. My dad handled the paperwork and bills until he passed away in 2000.”
Married for 30 years to the former Antoinette Pasquariello, Ragnacci, 65, has no immediate plans of retiring.
“We have a lot of loyal customers. I can almost always predict what night they will be in and what they will order. A lot of times they go out of their way to compliment one of our waitresses for their service and the food served. That is the most exciting and best part of running a restaurant. It is nice seeing that. It is rewarding.”
Ragnacci said his goal has always been to serve quality food at affordable prices.
His specialties at the restaurant include Italian homemade dishes, the various homemade pasta and sauce his wife makes, chicken Marsala, chicken Parmesan, various choices of veal, New York strip steak, filet mignon, stuffed clams, antipasto, steamed clams, U-Peel shrimp, chicken Alfredo, grilled pork chops, lobster and shrimp scampi, surf and turf, veal Marsala, veal piccata, spaghetti with sausage, meatballs or shrimp and penne pasta with meatballs or sausage. All Italian specialties are served with a cup of soup, salad, potato and vegetable. Various desserts are also available.
Ragnacci certainly aims to please his customers.
It is an inviting atmosphere that includes a small bar area with dining tables. Various drinks, including wine and beer, are served.
Ragnacci’s is open for lunch Tuesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The popular Dunmore establishment is open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday from 4:30 to 9 p.m.
Takeouts were available during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic for three months followed by takeouts and outdoor dining until indoor dining was permitted again. “Due to our very loyal customers, we held our own during the worst times of COVID,” said Ragnacci. “We have great customers. We are so appreciative of our customers who were so supportive during a difficult time.”
Ragnacci is the proud father of three grown daughters: Kim Potoroski, 50, Marissa Jenesko, 38, and Gianna Ragnacci, 26.
He and his wife have two grandchildren: Eloise, 7, and Julianne, 5. “They are our pride and joy.”
Ragnacci, hard working with a sense of humor and positive outlook on life, has no plans to leave the business after recently celebrating 40 years of Ragnacci’s Restaurant. “I’m going to keep going. We love seeing the customers come in. We just had a regular customer come in from Binghamton, N.Y. We want to provide quality food to our good customers. And we keep the prices very affordable for them. We try to make it a nice, comfortable atmosphere. I like what I do.”
Dunmore Woman Part of Point Thank You Group
As part of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, Lenore Mills of Willow Street, Dunmore, will return as she does every year to commemorate the rescue and recovery workers at Ground Zero.
Lenore served as a volunteer after 9-11 with a grassroots group who stood on the West Side Highway at Christopher Street , New York City, with homemade signs of thanks and encouragement for the rescue and recovery workers from the initial event until the cleanup at Ground Zero was completed in May , 2002.
The various groups who passed by were members of the New York Police Department, Fire Department of New York, PAPD, EMTs, construction workers, sanitation workers, Red Cross and Salvation Army, and more.
Lenore remembers, “Many times these workers would stop and thank us even though we were thanking them. They also were very emotional and told stories of working on the ‘pile’.
It reminds me of what people have done for healthcare workers the past year.”
Ms. Mills drove every weekend from NEPA to join the group and they return on every 9-11 Anniversary.
Then Governor George E. Pataki at the time designated the area as POINT THANK YOU and a sign was erected at the spot where the group volunteered. Lenore and the others will be there this 9-11 at the same place.
Lenore was just notified that her photographic record of this and other related events surrounding 9-11 are entered into the Greenwich Village archives by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.
Go to www.villagepreservation.org and click on the blog, then scroll to see: 9-11 IN MEMORIAM – Point Thank You
Persons can also go to You Tube to see the Point Thank You Documentary- www.youtube.com Point Thank You.