When I reach into my mind and think about Ray's Golden Lion while it was still open, it feels both so long ago and just like yesterday. Like many Tri-City area kids, I spent many weekends at Ray's. I was a hard-rocking metalhead/punk kid and Ray's brought in all the cool bands. Maybe that's my rose-colored glasses of nostalgia.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

I took Ed Dailey's radio broadcasting class at Tri-Tech and one of the perks of academia was having traveling, touring bands come into the classroom/radio station studio to promote their new music releases and their upcoming show at Ray's. I remember being the coolest kid in school the one time I invited Chelsea Grin to come to class. That show at Ray's Golden Lion remains paramount in my mind. It was a good memory. Since Ray's closed down, the only venue that caters to my old crowd beside the rare rock show at Toyota Center and Toyota Arena is the Emerald of Siam. It would be nice to have a music scene again. That's what Ray's was. When I was a kid, Ray's was the Tri-Cities music scene. 

The Tri-City Herald put out an article today announcing that Ray's has new ownership, which is fantastic. Ray's closed nearly ten years ago in 2015 and in 2016 Ray Chin, the owner, was killed when he was struck by a car. Ray had lovingly owned his Golden Lion for more than fifty years. The new owners are Talon Yager, who also owns Stick + Stone Pizza, and Andrew McVay. The guys remember the good times like the rest of us do and are doing everything they can to have the old Golden Lion open for weekend shows by July 1.

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