WINDSOR, Calif. (KTVU) - A long-awaited part of Santa Rosa's return to normalcy, lost in the Wine County fires in 2017, reopened just a few miles up Highway 101 from where it was located. Sweet T's, which burned to the ground in Santa Rosa's Fountain Grove, finally re-opened Thursday in Windsor.
"My wife and I, we knew immediately that we were gonna rebuild, but the question was, 'How are we going to do it?'" said Sweet T's owner Dennis Tussey.
It took far longer to find the space, with enough parking and visibility to satisfy insurance and Small Business Administration requirements.
“You know, we were very optimistic and overly optimistic and it took us a while. It took 18 months to get it built. I believe that we're the first restaurant that reopened after the fire and I think there were about 9 of them that burned down,” said Tussey.
For customers, Sweet T's is all about the ambiance, the staff and, above all, the southern food.
"Fried chicken is my very favorite, hush puppies, the fried green tomatoes—those are some of the things that got us here," said return customer Mary Lynch.
Former customers who come back will find many familiar faces. "A little over half the people that we have on staff are returnees from the old location. We feel very lucky happy with that and it's been very gratifying to have those folks here," said Tussey.
Though the restaurant is booked up for more than a month, not all tables are reserved, so, walk-ins with patience, are welcome.