National News

Napa businesses rally to help the community

Posted October 11, 2017 8:17 p.m. EDT

— As multiple fires rage around Napa, California, local businesses are opening their doors to help the community connect with their loved ones.

"Napa is a very strong and a close-knit community," said Ryan Stetins, co-owner of Compline Wine Bar. "In times of crisis, everyone sticks together to get through it."

Over 53,000 customers are still without power throughout California, most of them in the Napa and Sonoma areas. Compline Wine Bar, Napa Cigars and Blackbird Inn -- all in downtown Napa -- have power and are offering a safe place for residents.

Compline Wine Bar

"Napa residents, if you need to get out of the smoke or need sustenance, we're open and have WiFi." Compline Wine bar posted on Instagram.

The wine bar is also a restaurant and it has teamed up with other local businesses to make lunches for first responders.

"Today, we made 48 meals," Stetins said. "We have made them since Monday and deliver them to the downtown Napa fire station."

They plan to continue to make meals for the first responders as supplies permit.

Napa Cigars

The local cigar bar and lounge is open for anyone to come use its Wi-Fi or just smoke a cigar to get their mind off the wildfire.

"There's a lot of uncertainty, but people are in good spirits, as cigar smokers usually are," said Eric Smaldino, the owner of Napa Cigars.

Because his home is safe, he decided to open so people had a place to relax and get a moment away from the wildfire. About half the business around him are closed, Smaldino said.

"I've lived here four years and never seen fire like this before," he said.

"We are open, we have power, phones, charging cords and wifi for anyone who needs it. Stay strong out there Napa." the business posted on Instagram.

Blackbird Inn

This bed and breakfast that "offers the intimacy of a vintage hideaway" has special discounted rates for evacuees.

"We are fully functioning, just a little smoky smelling," said Emily King, the manager.

The inn offers hot meals and cookies for guests. If you are evacuating with a small pet, it has a room for you.

"The community is in distress," Stetins said, "but I saw this online and it sticks with me: 'Love is thicker than the smoke in the air.''