Papa Ray’s Welcomes new owners as Robinson’s bid a fond farewell to customers

January 4, 2024

By: Katherine Trowbridge

Ray Robinson proudly hands over the reins to brothers Gary (l) and Kanwardeep Singh (r).

Ray and Rachel Robinson and their family have turned over the reins of namesake restaurant to the Singh brothers, Kanwardeep Singh (Singh) and Gary Singh. The Robisons expressed, “We really feel like they’ll be a great addition to the community. They are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.”

Singh shared their passion and excitement for this new venture the brothers are stepping into. They had been looking at operating a local small business and found this opportunity. Singh loves to cook and brought his brother along  on this new venture.

The brothers came to America, 13 years ago, from Panjabi in Northern India. Their homeland is very much like our farming community. The farms mostly grow potatoes and vegetables there. Their family heritage is in farming.

They had been living in Seattle, and managed a couple 7-11 stores there but longed for community. Singh moved to Moses Lake in 2023 as an opportunity opened up for his wife, who is in the medical field, to further her education at Big Bend Community College. The couple also has a young daughter. Gary is looking to purchase a home in Connell and integrate himself in the community.

For fans of Papa Ray’s, you will be excited to hear their goal is to keep the restaurant and menu items and the name as is. They have no intentions of changing what Ray has built and look forward to honoring his legacy by keeping the name intact. Although, the brothers shared they did add a little bit of themselves by bringing in an Indian style “Tandoori Pizza” which is a curry style pizza. They also added the “loaded shotgun” which is all the flavors of Papa Ray’s menu in one pizza. The brothers are also in the process of obtaining a liquor license so they can add beer and wine to the menu.

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The Franklin County Graphic (FCG) newspaper opened in 1954 under founding editor Dave Adams to fulfill the need for community news. Today, it continues as a locally owned and operated, weekly source of community news and information across Franklin County.

papa rays

Papa Ray's

Papa Ray’s is the newest restaurant to open up in Connell and is owned by Ray & Rachel Robinson. After an extensive remodel including new and additional seating options, new paint and wall coverings, and decor, they opened in March 2019. Their menu includes pizza, burgers, appetizers, salad bar, wings, dessert pizzas, and since initially opening has added take-n-bake pizzas. The other unique service Papa Ray’s provides is a delivery option – a first to Connell residents or those who are just outside of town.  

Ray and Rachel have been in the food business for 17 years. Previous to moving to Connell, they owned Time Out Pizza in Quincy from 2003-2018.  They consider their business in Connell to be a family business as their kids work there in addition to 5 other part time employees. Opening a new business in a new town has meant long hours for them but they have enjoyed the opportunity to get to know the community.

Papa Ray’s came to Connell because the Robinsons wanted to be able to own the building they were working in.  They visited Connell and loved the small town feeling, supportive community, and just so happened to find the perfect space that they were looking for in old downtown. The Robinson’s have 4 children, 2 daughters and 2 sons. Their oldest daughter is married and lives in Moses Lake but she comes to work at the restaurant in Connell, one son is on a church mission, and then they have a sophomore son and a freshman daughter who both attend Connell High School. Papa Ray’s immediately engaged in the community by becoming chamber members, sponsoring and donating to chamber events as well as several other school and community activities as well. During the recent Manton Way fire, Papa Ray’s was one of the businesses that provided pizzas for the fire fighters and first responders.   

So, if you haven’t already, be sure to check out Papa Ray’s for either lunch or dinner – take the family to dine in, order for delivery or get a pizza and bake it at home.  They offer “Group Specials” that are perfect for a family or big groups – they include a pizza, sides and drinks.  Some of the Robinson’s personal pizza favorites and local favorites include the ‘Papa Ray’ and ‘The Works’. They have 24 named pizzas to choose from or you can always build your own so surely there is something for the entire family to enjoy. They even have pizza with corn (Calvinator) or pickles (Lil Ray) and also Gluten Free Pizza crust. They are located at 245 N Columbia Ave and are open Monday – Saturdays 11:00am -8:00pm or 9:00pm.