|It’s 30 years and counting for Quincy’s
One of RP’s longest-running businesses celebrates anniversary Dec. 8
Customers, bartenders, cooks and servers have come and gone since Quincy’s Pub & Café opened its doors in 1982, but one constant has been the presence of Yiannis Gatzios. In fact, some couples have met, married and split up at Quincy’s during his time.
Gatzios started working as a bar-back at Quincy’s in 1983 under original owner John Montero. Eventually, he became a bartender and then the pub’s manager before buying the establishment from Randy Yaple in 2001. Since the purchase, Quincy’s has been a labor of love for Gatzios.
“I’ve always loved this bar,” he said. “I’ve spent so much of my life here. And what are you going to do after 17-18 years in one job…start over from scratch? The opportunity to buy the bar came up, and I wanted the bar to continue the way it was rather than having someone buy the place who probably had never been in here before.”
Living the dream
His story is the classic tale of a man immigrating to the United States and obtaining the American dream. The native of Greece (south of Athens) came to the United States in 1979 and attended Manhattan College in New York City. He transferred to Sonoma State University a year and a half later and began working as a server at The Villa restaurant in Santa Rosa. Subsequently, he made his way to Quincy’s and has been there ever since.
He graduated from SSU, where he met his wife of 27 years, Cathryn, in 1986. He also has a daughter, Katia, who currently is attending the University of Redlands in Southern California.
Gatzios said he patterns his management and ownership style after Montero. And that may be one reason Quincy’s pretty much looks the same as it did when it opened. There have been some minor cosmetic changes, such as installing more than 20 flat-screen televisions and a new dance floor as well as upgrading equipment for the DJs.
“I’ve tried to keep everything the same,” he said. “I like it very much. And if something is working, why try to fix it?”
Quincy’s has been working well enough to where it is one of the longest-running businesses in Rohnert Park. And on Saturday, Dec. 8, it will host an all-day celebration for its 30th anniversary. The event begins at noon, and there will be free barbeque until all the food is gone.
The pub on the corner of Commerce and Enterprise drives is the only establishment in Rohnert Park that is a bar first and a café second, as it serves food at lunchtime three times a week during the workweek and on Sundays during football season. Other places with liquor licenses in Rohnert Park do the bulk of their business through food sales.
Quincy’s has a similar type of liquor license as Applebee’s, the Outback Steakhouse and various Mexican restaurants in RP. The only stipulation placed on Quincy’s is, unlike the aforementioned places, it is unable to have anyone under 21 in the establishment at any time. This was an agreement worked out between Quincy’s and the City of RP.
Since opening in 1982, Quincy’s only Rohnert Park competition that was a tried and true bar was the Boulevard Grill (previously Smitty’s and Don’s), which closed its doors in 2008 and was torn down to make way for the new road construction at the corner of Golf Course Drive and Commerce Boulevard.
Gatzios believes there are a few reasons why Quincy’s is still standing. But the most important is the people he’s hired.
“I think it’s because the bar is friendly and people feel comfortable coming in here,” Gatzios said. “In some places, it takes about three or four times going before a person is acknowledged. But here, when you come in, the bartenders or servers will talk to you, try to get to know you a little bit.”
Twenty-six years ago, Quincy’s came up with a novel concept. It built a barbeque grill on the patio and established cook-your-own-steak night for Monday Night Football. Quincy’s provides the steaks and side dishes, but the culinary portion is left to the patrons. It became one of the most popular nights at Quincy’s. The tradition is still going, but it’s not as strong as it once was, and Gatzios attributes it to the economy.
Niners partly to blame
Also, he places part of the blame on the 49ers’ recent slide into mediocrity, although they appear to have recovered.
“In the 80s, when the 49ers would win all those Super Bowls, we used to put three TVs outside on the patio because it was so packed,” Gatzios said. “We’re still doing OK when we have the popular games on Monday night. One thing funny about Monday nights is some customers would think they had to bring their own steak. But they can’t complain about the steaks because they’re the ones cooking them.”
Still in business
The economic downturn has taken its toll on a number of establishments, including Quincy’s, but Gatzios said the business has weathered the storm.
“The last two years, because of the economy we don’t see it crowded every day,” Gatzios said. “We see it a few days a week, but we’re still here in business.”