RIP Rancheritos…?

On a random day in October, an Instagram post surfaced with the news that the Rancheritos in Provo was closing — for renovations. What followed was an event of hilarious proportions that feels so distinctly Utahn.

Graphic by Kristan Whitney

On Oct. 5, hundreds of people attended a memorial service for the Provo Rancheritos due to its rumored closing. What stemmed from an Instagram post turned into a hilarious, wholesome night of Utahns mourning their local late-night dive, which, as it turns out, is only shut up temporarily for renovations.  

An Instagram post under the handle @provorancheritos surfaced on Oct. 2 to immediate reaction from the community. “I’ve tried typing this caption 4 times but can’t get through it without crying,” stated Henry Fye, a BYU student and creator of the account. “The ranch on cougar blvd has been shut down out of nowhere. No explanation.” 

The post went on to discuss “a night of remembrance for Provo Rancheritos” that would occur on Oct. 5. The post received more than 4,000 likes and 350 shares. Through a farcical series of events, Fye was still determined to carry out the event even after discovering the location would not close at all. The tagline would be changed from inviting people to join in “a night of remembrance” to instead join in on “a boob job celebration.”

“Y’all it looks like ranch is just getting a boob job,” stated Fye in the update post. “A sign was erected on the storefront today indicating that they are in fact not relocating, but just remodeling. God is real!” 

As the night of the memorial arrived, hundreds of people flocked to the Provo Rancheritos to participate in the celebration. “I saw it going around on Instagram, lots of people were sharing it,” said Aubrey Wright, a UVU student who attended the memorial. “My friend sent it to our group chat saying that we should go and I thought it was just a dumb thing.” Wright had no intention of attending but was again invited by another friend who said it was going to be big. When Wright and her friends showed up, “everyone was legit in funeral clothes.” 

“I’ve always loved Rancheritos,” stated Fye via Instagram. “I started that account back in 2020 as a super casual satire account where I’d post silly pictures of me and my friends at ranch or anything else ranch related.” At the memorial, there were signs, candles, singing and even programs passed around. The program contained Rancherito’s logo with a set of angel wings and a halo to match. The “order of service” listed musical numbers, a moment of silence and even opening remarks by Fye himself. Videos have since surfaced online of the night, where words of the well-known song “Hallelujah” were replaced with echoes of “Rancheritos.”

“The post started to get a ton of traction and turned into [so much bigger of an event] than I originally planned for,” continued Fye. “I have a few ideas of some possible things I could do for the ranch reopening, but I don’t think I’ll decide on anything until I find out when it opens.”

“I’ve heard rumors that it’ll [reopen] in about a month, but they’re just rumors so I’m not completely sure. I guess we’ll see!” 

The original sad tribute to the beloved Provo fast-food staple transformed into a night of fun remembrance — not to mention a bit of irony. The loved (or hated) Rancheritos does not currently have a scheduled reopening date, but there is no doubt that Fye and about 500 of his friends will be there to celebrate its return to life. Overall, though, the event will go down in the annals of Utah County history as the night hundreds attended a memorial service for a restaurant that wasn’t closing down.

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