For the past five years, guests have been enjoying refreshing spirits and tasty fare at Ralston’s Goat on the corner of 10th and J streets in downtown Modesto. Not only have they brought guests live entertainment, but also a variety of libations from the classics like a Manhattan or martini to the trendy mules like a Cucumber Lime Mule and everything in between.
Owner Mike Shelton named his establishment after both William Ralston – a San Francisco business tycoon who was the founder of the Bank of California – and a slogan that was chosen by the people: “Nobody’s Got Modesto’s Goat” as part of a contest.
Since the opening of the restaurant and bar and survival of COVID, Ralston’s Goat made some changes internally with a wall separating the bar and the restaurant making them almost two separate entities. They have an outdoor patio area with about 18 tables and an area for musicians to entertain patrons. The full bar is fully open inside and out and is also known as the Goat Bar.
Bartender Jenn Allsup has been at Ralston’s for over four years where she started by offering customers her very special creation of a Bloody Mary at the brunch on Sundays.
“I have been making them for 17 years,” explained Allsup. “I make them from scratch. I originally started on the restaurant side. There was a little coffee bar over there and I was doing Bloody Mary’s. Eventually I just got more and more hours and then I was here five days a week.”
Allsup’s Bloody Mary is a customer favorite, especially during brunch on the weekends. The specialty cocktail is made from scratch with fresh herbs and spices and is served up with skewers that may include veggies, cheese, salami and bacon.
“It (Bloody Mary) is really popular,” said Allsup. “We do anywhere between 30 to 40 a day of the Bloody Mary’s. I have to make a big batch to make sure it goes throughout the day.”
The origin of the cocktail stemmed from a time that Allsup was serving them up at the day bar at Burning Man. After working with it and tweaking it, she finally came up with just the right mixture that was a real crowd pleaser.
Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and then the dinner menu starts at 5 p.m., running to 10 p.m., with appetizers served up in between.
They are open from Wednesday through Sunday and offer takeout and catering services as well.
During the summer months the 10th Street Plaza will definitely be thriving in the 209. The entertainment begins on Wednesdays at Ralston’s Goat with the Valley Music Institute that brings a variety of youth bands to play live for guests. On Thursdays a jazz band has a jam session and on Fridays they have a live band from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturdays will feature a house DJ from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and a live band in the evening. The music wraps on Sundays with entertainment during brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“We also host a lot of touring bands when they come through,” stated Allsup. “My husband and I have been involved with the music in downtown for 30 years so we know a lot of outside entities for music. So, we always get touring bands coming through here.”
For those hot summer days in downtown Modesto there is a Rodin Ranch specialty cocktail and the very popular Rodin Ranch Shooters that are served up with a local fresh squeezed seasonal juice blend like pineapple, fruit medley, watermelon, strawberry, or mango. They are made with New Amsterdam or Svedka Vodka, a little bit of lime juice or lemon juice, sweet and sour to taste and fresh fruit from Rodin Ranch right across the street that they get every morning.
1001 10th St
Modesto, CA 95354
Wednesday - Friday, 4 pm to 12 am
Saturday 10 am to 12 am
Sunday 10 am to 5 pm
Monday & Tuesday CLOSED