556 Broadway, Chula Vista
The Steak House on Broadway in Chula Vista, formerly known as the Butcher Shop, gets a lot of attention from me. I've been going there for years. A number of things keep me coming back: the succulent food, reasonable prices, pretty waitresses in provocative outfits, and the East Coast, Goodfellas-esque atmosphere.
Aside from these things, if you go there you'll notice the in-house entertainment. On a small stage set up close to the bar area, a solitary figure stands with his guitar and wearing a fedora. Originally from Manhattan, Ray Correa has been been performing classics such as Sinatra's “You Will Be My Music,” "Besame Mucho" from Consuelo Velazquez, and countless others at the steakhouse since 2002.
With his crafty guitar playing and alluring voice, Ray catapults the ambiance of the Steak House from an eatery to that of a professional show not unlike those in the most prestigious nightclubs. It’s not uncommon for couples to go straight to the dance floor once Ray gets the place going.
But, it’s not just his musical abilities that make Ray so fun to watch. It's his interaction with those he plays for that sets him apart from most others in his field. As friendly as he is, you’d never know of the challenge he overcame.
During breaks between songs, I learned from Ray that five years ago he had been diagnosed with a condition called leukoplakia, which is described as a precancerous condition, on both of his vocal cords. After some surgeries, he was able to eradicate it completely. But the scarring on his left vocal cord as a result of the surgeries left him without 60 percent of his voice. Using voice therapy, his voice eventually came back.
Ray plays Wednesday through Friday each week from 7 to 10 p.m.