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Calistoga restaurants adjust to take-out business

Calistoga restaurants adjust to take-out business

As restaurants necessarily transform themselves into take-out and delivery establishments, those in Calistoga are proving they can be versatile.

At Lovina, owner Jennifer Bennett is offering take-out and delivery between 2 to 4 p.m., with a changing menu.

That said, her business is down to 10% of what it used to be. Her employees are laid off and getting sick leave, she said. She also took out a home equity loan so she could continue to pay them.

“There’s talk of the SBA forgiving loans for those who continue to pay their employees,” she added.

Bennett is also taking this time to make some improvements to the building, including adding a mural, painted by San Francisco artist and friend Karii Rurup-Coleman.

Dan Kaiser, owner of Johnny’s and Veraison, is also set up for take-out Thursday to Monday from noon to 8 p.m. On Sunday, he was manning one of the windows of Johnny’s, looking out onto Lincoln Avenue and taking orders.

“We are constantly trying to adapt and come up with things that will be appealing to the locals. We are also adopting a program hoping to help local wineries,” he said. “We are offering different family meal options that will be paired with a different wine from local wineries. Our menu will be constantly updated on our website, Facebook, Instagram and at our windows. Hopefully some of our new attempts will prove pleasing to the local community and also be fruitful.”

At Calistoga Inn Restaurant & Brewery, owner Michael Dunsford said take out is slow, “but it’s keeping a few of us busy with cleaning and organizational projects. It also helps us to move through some product and provides a service to the community.”

The Inn is offering take-out daily from noon to 8 p.m. Also available is the Inn’s hand-crafted beer, and wine and limited cocktails for take-out.

“People have really gravitated towards the beer, which can be purchased by the pint or growler,” Dunsford said.

The Inn has also had to lay off 80 employees, which is about 90% of the staff. “We will get through this but I worry about the staff,” Dunsford said.

Over at Riverlea Shopping Center, in the old Mary’s Home Plate space, Matt Freese and Rob Sereni opened Local Q 707 on Feb. 12. They said take out is going well with locals, and they have managed to keep their staff. Freese said the restaurant seems to be slower on Sunday and Monday, so it is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. mostly for burgers and sandwiches. Their special barbecue items are available only on Friday and Saturday.

And, file this under acts of kindness: Napa Valley Heritage Catering, run by chef Josh Mitchell, was offering free family meals on Friday, March 27. He was offering a free meal of porchetta or smoked ham to any restaurant and winery employees in need.

For a complete list of restaurants, hours, and phone numbers go to visitcalistoga.com.

Editor’s Note: Because of the health implications of the COVID-19 virus, this article is being made available free to all online readers. If you’d like to join us in supporting the mission of local journalism, please visit napavalleyregister.com/members/join/.

You can reach Cynthia Sweeney at 942-4035 or csweeney@weeklycalistogan.com.

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The Weekly Calistogan Editor

Cynthia Sweeney has been editor of The Weekly Calistogan since July, 2018. Previously, she was a reporter for the St. Helena Star, and North Bay Business Journal. She also spent a significant amount of time freelancing in Hawaii.

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