In a city as diverse as Pittsburgh, it is difficult to find a venue that caters to the needs of everyone. One small bar in South Oakland, however, seems to have been quite successful in satisfying just about any kind of Pittsburgh resident.
Located on Atwood Street, Mi Ranchito is a family owned bar and restaurant with an authentic Mexican atmosphere. The bar has recently opened an outdoor area to accommodate the summertime crowd. To keep up with this authentic atmosphere, there is even a taco stand open during the late night hours, which has proven to be quite popular.
It is easy to overlook the amount of hard work and sacrifices that are required to own and run a bar. So, I decided to talk with the owner of Mi Ranchito, Carlos, to get a better idea about the place where so many of our fellow students spend their weekends.
Carlos and his family are originally from a town outside of Mexico City and moved to Pittsburgh about three and a half years ago. He immediately decided to open up a bar since he previously was in the restaurant business.
“I used to live in California, so it’s very different, especially in the wintertime it is very cold,” says Carlos. He says it was a big transition for him and his family, but overall they enjoy living in Oakland.
Carlos describes the majority of the people that come into his bar to be college students who live in the South Oakland area.
“We have funny moments every weekend, every weekend is a party everywhere. It’s not really a family place.” Carlos explains.
Mi Ranchito has become such a popular establishment that loyal patrons have gone so far as to create a verb out of the bar’s name. For example, it is not uncommon to be asked to go “ranching” on a weekend night.
“When I need to let loose and relax after a stressful week, I like to go to Mi Ranch because they play great music,” says Greg Sobol, a frequent patron of Mi Ranchito.
Carlos describes his weekends as being very busy and he is usually exhausted by Sunday. On a typical weekend night, he will be at Mi Ranchito until about 3:30 or 4 am and then have to return in the morning around 10 am to start preparing for the following evening.
So, on behalf of the many Mi Ranchito fans around the Oakland area, I thanked Carlos for his undying patience and hard work to supply a safe and fun place for South O residents to mingle on the weekends.