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Enjoy San Joaquin Valley Living

Intimate Gatherings and Niche Weddings at Ol' Buckaroo

Feb 25, 2021 05:45PM ● By Rachel Trigueiro

Original Favorites

By Rachel Trigueiro
Photos courtesy of Ol' Buckeroo
February/March 2021

Simplicity, ease, minimalism and unfussiness seem to be goals of the modern-day individual or business, and ol’ Buckaroo is right on trend. 

Successful foodie partners Nicky French and T.R. Bousek are easing into this new year by going back to the nuts and bolts, remembering what inspired their dream and what’s kept their customers happy for years. 

“We started as a food truck in 2014, with an acre and a half on the beautiful Kaweah River. We established a roadside food truck and it worked. We served Americana fare – farm to table food – with a small seasonal and curated menu,” says French.

In February 2017, the duo remodeled the original Three Rivers diner building, bringing it up to code, and it became the Buckaroo diner with the ol’ Buckaroo food truck still on the premises. “We quickly learned that what we were going for in the diner coming from San Francisco was not really working in the Sequoia Park, and we’ve switched back to the original favorites that were so popular,” French says. “We’ve relaxed the vibe and it seems to work better in this area.” 

While running a full-service restaurant and venue in 2020 was next to impossible, silver linings exist to all who are willing to find them, like French. “COVID created space to think things through and make the business what we truly want it to be. We want to offer experiences that stick with people their whole lives, and one of those is weddings.”

The first wedding at ol’ Buckaroo was at the end of 2014, “and it was only because we were asked to do one,” he says. “We’ve never really focused on that until more recently. Obviously, 2020 made it weird, but it was the year of pivot for many businesses.”

Going forward, the partners expect more intimate gatherings and niche weddings. With a property rich in history and delightful restorations, ol’ Buckaroo offers guests a unique wedding experience that’s quaint and adaptable to any style. 

“We’re really excited about the amazing space we have to offer. It’s the ultimate for a creative,” French says. “The gardens and river are so lovely. It can truly be whatever you want it to be: Sophisticated, rustic, simple. The options are endless out here.” Of course, along with the beautiful landscape come the ol’ Buck staples: Good food and nice drink. 

Along with rolling with the (strange) punches of 2020 and filling a gap for smaller magical events, the partners also long to create an experience that meets the needs of all passersby. 

“We realized all travelers, whether millennials, Europeans or locals, are looking for a ‘choose your own experience,’ so we are simplifying and morphing back into our staple menu. Come to ol’ Buckaroo and get your favorite foods, beer and wine, but not full service.” The idea is that guests can create the experience they want.

Feeling a little carsick down the mountain but want to grab some dinner?  Pick up food in the front of the diner in the grab & go section

Prefer to sit, take it slow and enjoy the scenery without feeling rushed?  Order your food and take a seat in many of the outdoor options 

Hungry and looking to eat right now?  Order from the food truck or the restaurant

“Our deepest desire is to meet the individual needs of each customer. We are fortunate to have so much outdoor space where people can socially distance and feel safe, no matter what. People will continue to do that even after a semblance of normal. They’ve already been moving in that way. We are so thankful to be in the midst of these great outdoors.”

Customers may see some changes at ol’ Buckaroo, but “It’s the same space and branding. The food is more connected now more than ever,” French says. Here, food and drink will always be the heartbeat of the space with a more personalized version of the experience in 2021 and hopefully, a lot more music. •


Ol’ Buckaroo • 41695 Sierra Drive, Three Rivers

(559) 465-5088 • www.olbuckaroo.com

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