Tim Ragan and Randy Haney, co-owners of the popular Blue Moon restaurant and bar in Rehoboth Beach, Del., are to be married on Saturday, May 9, at the Nassau Valley Vineyards in nearby Lewes.
Bishop V. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, is to officiate. About 275 guests, including family members and friends, are expected to attend the ceremony and a reception in a banquet hall on the grounds of the vineyard.
Ragan, 59, and Haney, 57, met in 1979 when Ragan worked as an administrator and Haney was a student at Salisbury University in Salisbury, Md., where the two lived.
“We’ve been together ever since,” Ragan said. “So it’s as much a celebration of the past as it is of the future.”
Haney, who received a degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting, began his career in finance for car dealerships in the Salisbury area. Ragan left his job at the college to start a printing business in the same area, and Haney soon became co-owner of that business.
The two began their association with the Blue Moon in the 1980s when Joyce Felton, one of its first owners, retained Ragan and Haney’s printing company to do various projects for the restaurant, including the printing of menus and display advertising.
According to Ragan, he and Haney later joined the staff of the Blue Moon, where they met chef Lion Gardner and his wife Meghan Gardner, who also worked there. Ragan said it was at a time when he and Haney – who had vacationed in the Rehoboth-Lewes area for years – decided they wanted to move to that area and enter into semi-retirement.
But instead of retiring, the two became full-time employees of the Blue Moon, Ragan said.
Around 2008, after he and Haney had become good friends with Lion and Meghan Gardner, the two couples decided to take steps to open their own restaurant.
“We enjoyed working together so much that we were going to open our own business,” Ragan said. “And then Joyce decided she didn’t want to do it anymore and offered to sell it to us.”
As part of their business partnership, Haney serves in the role of comptroller handling the finances and number crunching, a write-up on the Blue Moon’s website says. Ragan, among other things, oversees promotion as well as the booking of the popular entertainers that the Blue Moon has become known for hosting.
Lion Gardner serves as executive chef, with wife Meghan operating the Blue Moon’s bustling catering business, which includes catering for weddings.
Ragan said he and Haney currently live in Lewes in a home they recently had built next to a pond.
“We have four dogs and plenty of room for them to play,” said Ragan, in reflecting on their many years as life partners and business partners. “So for almost our entire time together we have not only worked together but lived together – and stayed together.”
The couple has asked that guests make a contribution to one or each of three charities in lieu of a wedding gift — CAMP Rehoboth, Jusst Soup Ministries, and Delaware Humane Association — through this site: http://www.idofoundation.org/TimAndRandy.