A popular destination for Kent State University students, employees and alumni, Ray's Place is located on Franklin Avenue in downtown Kent, Ohio. A book celebrating 75 years of the locally owned restaurant and pub will share the stories of its employees and customers over the years.
A popular destination for Kent State University students, employees and alumni, Ray’s Place is located on Franklin Avenue in downtown Kent, Ohio. A book celebrating 75 years of the locally owned restaurant and pub will share the stories of its patrons.

A book celebrating 75 years of locally owned, downtown Kent restaurant and pub Ray’s Place will share the stories of its employees and customers over the years.

Kent State University Associate Professor Patrick O’Connor of the School of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Studies, and author of the book, is seeking contributions to the publication that will celebrate the restaurant as it marks its 75th anniversary.

“A lot of changes have taken place in downtown Kent, but here is one restaurant that has been here a long time and has been a magnet for Kent State alumni, staff and students,” O’Connor said. “I marvel at how popular Ray’s Place is, especially during Homecoming, and the tremendous loyalty of its customers. Sharing the stories of the restaurant’s employees and customers for the past 75 years is something unique and worth celebrating.”

Submitting Your Stories and Memories


The bulk of the book will feature fond, funny, sentimental or weird memories of Ray’s Place shared by employees and customers. Submissions for the book can be made via the Ray’s Place website. An option to submit memories anonymously is also available on the website.

“Whether you remember going into Ray’s, but never remembered coming out, as one anonymous contributor stated, your story could help build this memory book that transcends generations,” O’Connor said.

Contributors also have the opportunity to suggest a title for the book, which will be published in spring 2013 by Black Squirrel Books®, an imprint of the Kent State University Press. Proceeds from the book will support the Ray’s Place Entrepreneurship Scholarship program for Kent State University’s College of Business Administration.

Celebrating 75 Years of Ray’s Place


Charles Thomas, owner of Ray’s Place and Kent State College of Business Administration alumnus, who gave his blessing for the book, said celebrating 75 years shows that the business has stood the test of time.

“For many years, Ray’s Place has provided Kent State students, faculty and staff, and the Kent community a place they can go to for great food, drink and fun,” Thomas said. “It has also been a place where they can come back to after graduation. Kent State and Ray’s Place complement each other ... we both run a fine institution. Whenever Kent State officials travel around the country to meet alumni, often times, one of the first questions they get is ‘How is Ray’s Place?’”

O’Connor’s son is also involved in producing the book. Patrick O’Connor, a Kent State alumnus and former political cartoonist for the Daily Kent Stater, Kent State’s student newspaper, will provide illustrations for the book.

For more information about the book, email O’Connor at poconnor@kent.edu.

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