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.
Gary shared, “The most important thing here is what Ray and his family has done. We want to keep it at the same level or make it better, if not, we failed.” He added that they have a clear goal to keep the quality the same.
The brothers added, “We want to put so much love into it. We want to make Papa Ray’s the second table of the community, home being the first, of course.”
Speaking of the community, Gary said, “Meeting everyone here, it is so warm and welcoming. This is what we have been seeking for so long.” Singh added, “This feels like my home. It’s such a natural fit.” Gary continued, “In such a little time, just two weeks here, we feel like this is already home.” Singh shared that he loves talking to the farmers, especially, as it reminds him of his home in India. “It is very similar, a natural fit,” he said. The brothers also love that the community is patriotic.
The brothers want anyone and everyone to reach out to them. They love getting to know the community and love for them to ask questions and get to know them in return. While the brothers wear turbans, as is the custom of their culture, they shared, “While we get asked a lot, we are not Muslim. We believe in one God and working hard, and giving back.”
Speaking of giving back, they shared, “We are going to spoil the kids, community, town… we are looking forward to providing scholarships to the students and giving back anyway we can. We want to know the customs, traditions of the community and to get involved,” Singh said.
The Robinsons expressed they are looking forward to spending time with grandchildren and really need a two month vacation. To their customers they expressed, “Thanks for all of your support through a new business, COVID, and everything else. For letting us be a part of the community. We’ll still be around. We have a lot of good friends here.”
As I left the restaurant, the Singh’s family was coming in to join the brothers. Papa Ray’s is known as a family restaurant and the Singh’s look forward to keeping that same family atmosphere.