The Adobe Inn, a Ridgway staple for the past 32 years, is shutting its doors Tuesday. The decision was made at the end of August, when longtime employee John Pizzarusso informed co-owners Terre and Joyce Bucknam that he will be moving from the area.
“We always said that if he left, we were closing the doors because we had a nice rapport with him,” Joyce explained, before adding. “It’s just time to stop. We just can’t go on any further.”
Since then, the restaurant known for its spin on Mexican dishes and Patron margaritas has been busy beyond believe.
“It’s been amazing for the entire month. I thought we’d be busy, but nothing like this. It’s unbelievable,” Joyce said. “ … I cannot believe the phone calls we have gotten since the word has gotten out. We have people calling from all over the country. We even got flowers.
“Everybody was sad. That’s the only word I heard from everyone; they were happy for us, but sad it was closing.”
The Bucknams, who are both in their 80s, have worked together in the restaurant business since meeting 52 years ago. Joyce was one of Terre’s employees at his Lake Tahoe restaurant, before they moved to Norwood, where they ran the former Back Narrows Inn for 16 years. The couple eventually purchased the current Ridgway spot, which sits off of Main Street on Liddell Drive and displays the words “Hostel & Cantina” on the side. Being in business with your spouse can present challenges, Joyce said, but they’ve always worked well together.
“It’s difficult, but we both have different responsibilities and it’s worked all these years,” she said. “I can’t say that it isn’t hard, but you just make it work.”
So what’s the secret to their success? Joyce laughed.
“Oh, I don’t know. I don’t have any idea,” she said.
She had a similar sincere reaction when asked about her favorite moments over the years.
“Oh, Jesus,” she said with a laugh. “There were so many memorable moments. Mainly, it was good help, good food and people really liked our place. It was a good combination.”
Joyce explained the couple plans to relax a little and spend some time at their Santa Fe home. After all, as she pointed out, most people their age are retired.
“You just get to the point that you need time totally,” she said.
The business is currently for sale. Joyce hopes it will remain a restaurant.
She recalled the cozy atmosphere that customers seemed to enjoy the most; the wood-burning fireplace and how deer would poke their noses through window during the winter.
“It has a lot of charm,” she said.
Visitors agree. Reviews across several websites have rated the Adobe Inn highly.
“We loved that we could just walk downstairs and eat, too,” Savannah Sullivan of Carrollton, Georgia, wrote on Trip Advisor. “The food was just as amazing as the atmosphere was.”
Joyce, who admitted she’s never done a phone interview before, reminisced about her business over the years, thanking her employees several times.
“Your help is so important,” she said. “We’ve had such good help in the dining room and the kitchen.”
She also showed appreciation for the community.
“Ridgway is a great little town. We had a real rapport with everybody,”
On Friday, Joyce thought about going to the farmers market, but decided to cool her heels instead. Plus, she had other plans.
“I’m going to go into work later today, because I want to,” she said.
For reservations, call 970-626-5939.