Posted: 11:00 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014

Napa busisnesses still booming despite quake damage


pizza oven photo
pizza oven

Cara Liu/

NAPA, Calif. —

With the Labor Day holiday weekend just ahead, many in Napa Valley want people to know they're open for business.

In fact, approximately three-quarters of businesses in the city of Napa, including all of the Riverfront and Oxbow market businesses, were open by Tuesday, according to the Downtown Napa Association.

"It means you can still come up here and enjoy the full Napa experience," said Craig Smith, Executive Director of the Downtown Napa Association. "You obviously can't go to all the restaurants, but seventy percent of those are open right now, and again more will be coming on line this week."

Many business owners said the community came together after the quake, helping others get back on their feet.

At Cadet, a new wine and beer bar in Napa, owners said customers, friends and community members all pitched in to help mop up spilled wine and sweep up broken glassware over the past two days, helping them re-open Tuesday evening.

"The end goal was just to get open as soon as possible and just to let everyone know we're open," said Aubrey Bailey, Co-Owner, Cadet Wine & Beer Bar. "So (we were) putting Facebook posts up, putting the Instagram posts up."

Bailey estimated about a third of their wine inventory and half of the glassware were destroyed in the earthquake.

At Oenotri restaurant across the street, the kitchen was back to full steam, pushing out pizzas and serving up red wine despite the major cleanup needed after Sunday's 6.0 earthquake.

"We had pretty much all of our alcohol and all of our beer selections completely decimated," said Tyler Rodde, Chef-Owner, Oenotri Restaurant. "And we had between 30-50 percent of our wine inventory was just obliterated, which in Napa Valley that's kind of our deal."

Tuesday evening, a hostess was set up outside, letting customers know the restaurant was open. There were also signs in the windows saying the restaurant was open, and explaining that the "red tags" on the building only applied to the patio dining area.

Oenotri re-opened Monday, serving only a partial menu because gas service was not restored until late Monday night. The staff used cast iron pans to cook food in the wood fired oven, squeezing sea bass and sausages in the oven usually reserved for pizzas and roasted vegetables.

"You have to look at it as an opportunity to be creative rather than a burden upon yourself," said Rodde.

Many patrons walking in downtown Napa took photos of damaged buildings surrounded by yellow tape, then sat down for dinner at one of the local restaurants.

"We're glad we're here supporting local community," said David Zanze, who lives in Orange County, California.

According to the Downtown Napa Association, several hotels in the city of Napa are currently closed due to damage, including Andaz, the Napa Marriott and the Westin. Smith said that's about 650 of the city's 3000 rooms, but added that but other hotels are helping out and honoring previously quoted prices to accommodate as many visitors as possible.

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