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Rodeo and rib eye
served up at Bachi's

It’s a building which is well known throughout the 209, as well as among families living the Western lifestyle. Ranchers, rodeo cowboys, as well as tourists passing through the city of Oakdale know it as H-B Saloon.

However, it’s what’s served from the kitchen to the booths surrounding the bar, as well as in the two rooms behind it which may come as a surprise to visitors.

Sharing the building of 401 E. F St., Oakdale, Bachi’s Family Dining offers quality food at a reasonable price.

Owned by “Bachi” himself, Mike Bacigalupi, the third-generation owner shared the history of the building and the business is just as much as draw, as is the food.

Starting in the bar business, Bachi’s grandfather David Bacigalupi opened “The Club” on the west side of Oakdale in 1939.

“They moved here the year I was born,” Bachi said of the current location, which has been home to the saloon since 1952. “He had a partner named Frank Hendrick and they were partners until ’58. When they parted ways the name was already established, so he just left it H-B (Hendrick and Bacigalupi).”

It was a move that would not only prove to be beneficial to the family business, but to travelers as well. According to Bachi the location sees its fair share of regulars by way of vacation home owners stopping by on their way up the hill, as well as tourists stopping in to check out the old saloon.

Through the years the restaurant portion of the building was leased to a variety of other proprietors. In 1997, Bachi decided to make it part of the family business. 

“It started as family style,” daughter-in-law Jackie Bacigalupi shared of the restaurant.

“It was like a Basque restaurant for 10 to 11 years,” Bachi added, displaying an old wine bottle with a menu printed on the label.

“What we used to do was we served it with the wine in it. The wine in the bottle was included with your dinner,” he shared.

In 2008 the family made the decision to transition to traditional dining, offering lunch, as well as dinner. Currently lunch is served Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner Wednesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The restaurant and saloon are closed Tuesdays and Sundays.

“As far as our menu it’s pretty standard, but Louie (Chef Louie Flores) gets creative with the specials,” Jackie said of the restaurant’s current chef.

“But they get a bang for their buck,” she continued. “People really like the food and when it comes to drinks too. The food and drinks are reasonable.”

According to the duo, the family operated business maintains great food at a good price. Among regular favorites are the steak sandwich at lunch time or the prime rib special Friday nights. A meal which Jackie shared comes complete with soup, salad, vegetable or potato, as well as a generous cut of prime rib.

“He’s been a great addition,” Bachi said of Chef Flores. “The veggies he does are as you order. He does not let them sit and get soggy. When you put veggies on a deal, he puts them on your plate right out of the pan. We have steam tables but he won’t use them.” 

“Oh yeah … everything is fresh,” Jackie added. “He knows the customers and he’ll come up with his own specials that he likes to do. I think it makes him enjoy it more.”

Now in his 20th year in the restaurant business and coming up on his one-year anniversary of serving up food for the Bachi’s clientele, Flores shared he’s happy where he is and with the freedom he’s been given.

“Sometimes they just come to me randomly,” Flores said of the specials. “Honestly, sometimes I’ll be dreaming and I’ll be thinking about work and I’ll wake up and write ideas down. It just comes to me.”

Upon hearing the praises of the family, Flores becomes humbled. Recognizing the business is truly family, the chef shared he loves the environment, as well as the camaraderie of the family in the kitchen.

“Ironically with the family I’ll watch Hell’s Kitchen, but no,” he shared when asked if he watched cooking shows for inspiration when at home. “I mean, I’ve never even opened a cookbook.

“I don’t try to limit myself to one dish,” he continued, regarding if he had a favorite dish he makes. As far as favorite meal, whatever it is he will enjoy, he said, if he doesn’t have to cook it.

For the Bachi family, there is no pretense on what is offered at Bachi’s Family Dining. Whether you ask the family, the regulars or those just passing through, the answers seem to be the same: great food and a great price. 

“We will always be as fair as possible,” Jackie said of the menu and its pricing. 

Now watching a fifth generation running around as his own children once did, Bachi shared he loves that they have been able to maintain not only the family dining, but the family connection.

“One cook, one waitress, one bartender, a true family business,” Jackie said with a laugh, adding that they all jump in, including her husband Bo Bacigalupi and his dad whenever needed in the kitchen.

“The people,” Bachi said with no hesitation on what he enjoys most. “People come up and say ‘Thank you, God that was good.’ That makes it all worth it.”

“Making people happy,” Jackie agreed. “It’s just so great to see so many happy people. 

The décor of the brick building is both rustic and historic. With family history deep in rodeo and ranch life, the walls tell a million stories and the clientele eat it up.

“Every picture has a story that’s for sure,” Jackie said of the photos which fill the saloon and carry into the dining area.

As the family now celebrates 85 years of service to the community of Oakdale, they remain humble as well as proud and grateful for the support of so many.

“There’s no problem that can’t be fixed,” Flores said of the pride he takes in his work. “I love it here, it’s nice.”