In the early 1950’s Mrs. Parker and her son Ray Parker opened up a lobster pound next to the current Ray’s Seafood Restaurant. Ray would go out and catch the lobsters and his mother would sell fresh lobster rolls at the lobster pound. As the business grew the Parker’s built a small clam shack next to the lobster pound, they called it “Ray’s Seafood” The motto was “Our food is as fresh as our help”
In 1961 once again the Parker’s grew out of their small roadside stand and converted the house that was also located on the property at 1677 Ocean Boulevard. The new restaurant was named “Ray’s Seafood Restaurant” It was a full-service sit-down restaurant serving the freshest seafood in the area. Ray was known to allow his best customers to order take out and keep the cornel china. Ray became very close to employee Aura Widen and her family. Ray was known to attend the Widen family holiday gatherings and special occasions. Sadly in 1973, Raymond Parker passed away. Because Ray loved the Widen family so much and he didn’t have any family of his own he left the restaurant to Aura and her husband John Widen. Aura ran the restaurant until 1985 when tragically a fire destroyed the restaurant. Aura was so heartbroken she decided not to rebuild. Aura lived out the rest of her life at her harborside home with her husband John, her cat Rosebud, and beagle Snoopy.
Andy Widen son of Aura made his living as a lobster fisherman fishing out of Rye Harbor. Andy asked his mother if he could rebuild the restaurant. In 1986 Andy reopened the small clam shack where Ray first started while the new restaurant was built. The new restaurant was set to be double the size and offered some of the best ocean views in the area. The new restaurant opened in the fall of 1986. Aura served as the bookkeeper until her passing in 2001. Currently, the Widen family still runs the restaurant along with a dedicated staff, some of which have been with the company for over 25 years.