As Central Valley temperatures continue to stay around the century mark, locals may choose to cool off in the Stanislaus River or keep their kitchen cool by opting to eat out.
Situated along the popular summer watering hole, The River’s Edge Bar and Grill may offer just the right combination of food, beverages and setting for those looking to visit the quaint Knights Ferry community.
Located at 17525 Sonora Road in Knights Ferry, the longstanding riverside eatery was reopened earlier this year by local resident Connie Mei.
According to Mei, she acquired the property from previous owner Ben Cassinetto in late 2015.
“I was a customer here,” Mei said of first learning of the unique business location, stating she shared her interest in the property with Cassinetto, should he decide to retire. When he so chose, he contacted Mei.
“I came to the area three years ago. Every time I would eat here, I tell him it’s such a beautiful place,” she said.
Mei has past experience in the food service business, as well as extensive experience as a builder. Both were put to great use, in the way of a remodel on the existing space, as well as finding a Chef who fit her vision for the restaurant.
The updated interior incorporates the outside elements with river rock, stone and wood in a bright setting thanks in part to newly installed picture windows, the length of the south side of the bar.
“This is all about Knights Ferry,” Mei said of her design choices, most specifically a wall mural that greets visitors through the main entrance. It’s a large picture collage from photos collected from Ferry locals.
Mei has placed the kitchen in the capable hands of Dominic Marshall, who credits much of his skill and style to years of experience spent at Oakdale’s once popular Nutcracker.
“It’s my passion. It’s what I do,” Marshall said. “I want the food and the service to match the surroundings and how beautiful it is up here.”
Marshall stated he began working at the River’s Edge Bar and Grill earlier this year part-time, with his sights set on becoming the Executive Chef.
“I’m very lucky to have Dominic,” Mei said, “because I never would have found him. To have him here and in this kitchen … I’m very lucky.”
“We know that food is why people come to restaurants,” Mei’s business partner, Bill Wood stated.
Wood and Mei joined forces as business partners over the property close to a month ago.
“If you don’t have quality food it’s game over,” Wood continued. “I love Dominic’s cooking, it’s amazing.”
The Executive Chef shared that while a mouth-watering burger still graces the menu, he enjoys bringing a variety of entrées to their diners.
“I wanted a higher quality product,” Marshall said. “Center of the plate presentations. I wanted to take it to the next level.
“We’ve got a great burger, but we’re not all about the burger anymore,” he continued, noting fish, rib eye, prime rib and New York steak among some of his offerings.
The River’s Edge Bar and Grill is open six days a week, closed on Tuesdays. Weekday hours are: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. with the bar staying open until midnight; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. (bar closes at midnight) and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesdays they host a ‘Local Night’ offering drink and appetizer specials and Thursday is Ladies Night with Live Karaoke at 8 p.m.
For additional information, find them on Facebook, Instagram or call 881-3466.