Kent restaurant comes to life in professor’s book

Ray's Place book interview

KENT, Ohio (WKBN) — Anyone who has attended Kent State University or visited downtown Kent is familiar with Ray’s Place.

The restaurant has been located on Franklin Street since 1937 and is a must-visit for students, alumni and former Kent residents. Wedding parties have even stopped by the restaurant to take pictures.

Kent State University professor Patrick O’Connor has written a book about the hot spot called “Meet me at Ray’s.”

“So many people that go to Ray’s have such fond memories of the restaurant. I hear these stories all the time,” O’Connor said. “When I would travel the country wearing a hat or t-shirt with the Kent State University logo on it, people would always ask me about Ray’s.”

He said he came to the realization that the eatery is more than just a place to get great food. It also is part of the Kent experience.

“I wanted this book to try to capture the stories and capture the reason why Ray’s Place is so special,” O’Connor said.

In 1946, the restaurant installed televisions, becoming one of the first restaurants in the country to air sporting events.

O’Connor said the book is a compilation of stories from customers and employees.

“Meet me at Ray’s” can be purchased at, at Ray’s and other local businesses in Kent.

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