DuBOIS — Ponderosa Steakhouse will be closing at the end of the day, at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3.

In business for 39 years, Owner Sam Mollica said the restaurant is closing because he is retiring. He added that the sale is pending.

The Courier Express checked with the Clearfield County Register & Recorder’s office and no sale had been posted yet on the 1.35 acre as of press time.

On the business’ Facebook page, long-time employees were recognized with the dates of their employment listed, those include: Leah Mollica (1979), Laura Luce (1993), Carrie Osborne (1993), Toni McCracken (1993), Jaynelle Horchen (1997), Kim Reed (2001), Glyceria Willar (2002), Mike Pistner (2002), Connie Sickeri (2003), Jason Victory (2008), Jona Haupt (2009), Josh Yohn (2011), Tiffany Siple (2011), Samantha Mack (2012), Cody Long (2012), Shena Lindemuth (2014), and Zack Musser (2014).

On the page, the Mollica family also said, “The business our family has owned and operated since 1979 will be sold in early February. We thank the area communities for the pleasure of serving you all these years. We also thank our hard working employees for their dedication and drive to be the best at what they do.”

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When we asked Tri-County Sunday residents their memories of the restaurant. Here are some that they shared with us:

  • “Sad to see Ponderosa closing. The Mollica family had worked hard from the conception, with Sam Sr., to the very end with Sam, now. They employed many people, gave young adults their first jobs and had a variety of foods beside steak. Hats off to the Mollica family – good luck and best wishes with your future endeavors!” —
  • Art Whitmore, DuBois
  • “That’s where me and my long time boyfriend, Denny Nelen had our first date! We go there regularly with our granddaughters. I like the idea that I don’t have to buy them a full meal, they can pick what they want. We will miss it!” —
  • Tammy Bukousky, DuBois
  • “I will miss their wings!” —
  • Nancy Weible, DuBois
  • “I will miss their liver, onions and meatloaf.” —
  • Kim Lansberry, Woodland
  • “We will miss it. Used to go there when it was Bonanza and then when it was Ponderosa. Lots of special dinners there. One of our favorites.” —
  • Robin Clark, DuBois

The Mollica family has many memories too.

Sam’s daughter Samantha Mollica has a photograph of the sign of the restaurant, then known as Bonanza, from when she was born on Feb. 1, 1985.

“Now it’s closing almost exactly 33 years later. It was my first job. One of my favorite memories was when Aretha Franklin stopped in and I got to ring up her meal for her,” Samantha said. “While I’m sad it will be closing, I’m happy for my dad to enjoy retirement.”

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