Tale of Two Restaurants: North Bay restaurant reopens months after wildfire while another deals with flood damage

WINDSOR, Calif. (KGO) -- A tale of two restaurants in the North Bay-- one dealing with flood fallout, another re-opened 17 months after the Tubbs Fire. Both places matter as much to the owners as they do to the community.

One says, 'We love our river.' The other says 'Welcome Back.' They're the signs of two restaurants in Sonoma County. One a victim of fire, the other of flooding.

RELATED: North Bay man forced from flooded home, previous home lost in Tubbs Fire

The disasters happened a year and a half apart, but have many similarities.

At Sweet T's Restaurant in Windsor, the kitchen boomed Thursday, while The Farmhand Deli in Guerneville remains a work in progress.

"I feel like it's a shoe with sand in it. Keep knocking on it. And it keeps coming out," said Jason Flint of the Farmhand, which he owns with his wife, Lisa.

We watched, last week, as they began reclaiming the place from several feet of Russian River water. Thursday they found inspiration in how Dennis Tussey and his wife, Ann, reopened Sweet T's restaurant in Windsor.

RELATED: Sonoma County estimates $155M in flood damages after massive storm

"Can anyone understand this unless they have gone through it?" we asked owner Dennis Tussey?

"Probably not."
After the Tubbs Fire took their original location near Fountain Grove, Dennis and his wife, Ann, had little left other than the goodwill of their customers.

"We were getting reservations at 2 and 3 o'clock in the morning," said Dennis.

Meantime, in Guerneville, the Farmhand still has a way to go. They had no insurance. In lieu of donations, Jason and Lisa have asked customers to buy gift certificates.

"I think a lot of people in the community are asking for money," said Lisa Flint. "We want to give back to the community."

RELATED: Sonoma County supervisors ratify local health emergency, hope for federal aid for Russian River flood victims

It's about faith. They're lessons learned in Sonoma County-- the hard way.

About how the return of comfortable places can make us feel whole, again.
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