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By Collin Breaux | Twitter: @collin_breaux
Over the years, Michelle Winrich and John Q. Humphreys talked about the possibility of Michelle and her husband one day purchasing and taking over the Ramos House Café.
For 10 years, Michelle worked as a server and manager, while Humphreys owned the landmark Los Rios Street restaurant popular with the brunch crowd. Now, Michelle and her husband, Kris Winrich, are the new owners of Ramos House Café—a day Michelle never thought would arrive.
The Ramos House’s temporary closure earlier this year during the COVID-19 pandemic gave the Winrichs and Humphreys a chance to sit down and seriously talk about transferring ownership.
“I want to continue the legacy of what the Ramos House Café means,” Michelle said. “This was an easy process, because I know the ins and outs of Ramos House. With all the relationships I’ve built there, it’s like home.”
Kris, also a musician who performs around the corner at Trevor’s at the Tracks and Rancho Capistrano Winery, is no stranger to Humphreys and the café, either. Kris and Humphreys have spent days jamming and talking about music and food.
“Michelle and I have been working side by side at the café for about a decade now,” Humphreys said. “During the past decade, I’ve watched them come to love each other and the café as much as I do, so when the time came for me to pass the proverbial spatula, they were the logical candidates.”
Humphreys further called the couple the “perfect people” to watch over Ramos House after he’s gone. He owned the café for 27 years.
Michelle and Kris Winrich grew up in San Clemente and now live in Rancho Mission Viejo. Ramos House is currently open and has all-outdoor seating.
As for future ideas, Michelle said they plan to open for special-occasion dinners, such as on Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve, along with creative pop-up wine dinners. The new owners also would like to bring back some old menu classics, including the pulled pork sandwich, hush puppies with pepper jam, and fried green tomatoes.
“We’re also very excited to get creative with new ideas and innovative dishes!” Michelle said.
Collin Breaux covers San Juan Capistrano and other South Orange County news as the City Editor for The Capistrano Dispatch. Before moving to California, he covered Hurricane Michael, politics and education in Panama City, Florida. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.