Oscar Ramirez, owner of the Oasis Restaurant at 1223 Otley Ave., was joined by his wife, Yanira Del Rosario Sanchez, and daughter, Jeymi Ramirez, in welcoming members of the Perry Chamber of Commerce Tuesday morning to a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the popular Salvadoran restaurant.
With fresh pupusas and flautas steaming on a side table and offered free for all, Oscar Ramirez described the improvements his family had made to the property both inside and out since buying it in August 2017, from the new concrete of the sidewalk and parking area in front to the removal of walls and general remodeling with.
The lot at Third Street and Otley Avenue was the original site of the First Baptist Church in Perry, built in 1869. The property has been devoted to more secular pursuits for many years, most notably as the Bally Hoo tavern, but the Ramirez family has at least restored Christian piety to the place if not an altar and pews.
For anyone who ever walked into — or stumbled out of — the old Bally Hoo, the new open-floor arrangement of the Oasis Restaurant is a pleasant and well lit surprise. Ramirez is a handyman and has done all the work himself, with a little help from his friends. The family also owns and runs the nearby Oasis Market at 921 Railroad St., where the restaurant first began as a take-out service.
The Oasis Restaurant now serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The hours are Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and closed Sunday.