Napa restaurant dedicated to locals forced out of business

NAPA, Calif. (KGO) -- A restaurant beloved by North Bay locals is about to close its doors, and they're not happy about it.

It's a throwback to the days when people saw signs instead of read them -- though Napa's Red Hen Restaurant always did provide both options, along with continuity, for 37 years.

"It's not the foodie places. I don't need to spend $200 for lunch here," said 25-year customer Patrick Grafton.

"And it's comfortable," added his wife, Sabrina. But only for a few more days. The landlord has chosen to not renew a long term lease.

"I was hoping for some kind of offer but they wanted me out and I am going to be out," owner Norm Sawicki told us.

"Clearly they didn't want to make an agreement," his wife, Christy, told us.

Norm has owned the Red Hen since the beginning. He had noticed all the rising rents and storefronts in downtown Napa. Now that trend has hit here. This closure directly impacts 37 full-time employees.

"Well they are going to have to find other jobs," said Norm.

"He hasn't slept because he is so worried," said Christy.

Sara Carpenter is one of the newer employees. She's been here for seven years. She's one of those waitresses who sees a face and knows the order.

"I always have a chicken burrito and a taco," said Mike Conley.

"We'll be fine... this is a great staff," Sara told us.

Mike and his wife, Charlene, went on their first date at the Red Hen back in 1994.

"Without the Red Hen, will you stay together?" I asked Charlene.

"It will be hard, but I think so," she replied.

He'll be missing the burritos, however. And that sense of home.
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