PARADISE, Calif. - Lynn Leav lost her bar, the Optimo, during the Camp Fire on November 8, 2018. Two years later she is starting over, with a new business.
Leav's daughter Muy Ling said, "I'm so ecstatic with all of the community support we have gotten. Paradise is a sweet town, and to see the support and the people showing up to make a business happen is beautiful."
Lynn used to operate a Chinese restaurant at the Optimo. That burned during the Camp Fire. But she had already put up a new building for Lynn's Coffee and Crepes in the Optimo parking lot, but it had not opened for business yet.
Employee Christina Burton explained that Lynn, "wanted to get back into cooking and feeding the community, and being a part of this wonderful community, and that's why she felt like she needed to open up the coffee shop."
"For us to start a new business in a pandemic has been very scary but we will try and see how it goes," Burton said.
"We have served hundreds of crepes and coffee and we couldn't be more grateful for all of the support people are giving to this business. We were not expecting it to be this busy," she added.
Customers told Action News Now that they are happy the restaurant is finally open. It's heartwarming and feels really good."
Burton described the location on the upper end of Paradise on the Skyway as a sentimental location. She told the story about what happened during the day of the Camp Fire.
Burton said law enforcement officers smashed the windows open and people took shelter inside for hours.
"There were people stuck in this parking lot for 12 hours, and I know people who were inside this building that we are standing in right now for 15 hours before they could get out," she explained.
"This place means a lot for a lot of people, especially us," she said. "I want to thank everyone for being here for us."
"The love that Lynn and her daughter and me and everyone is putting into this business - the love is what is making it overflow with gratitude, Burton said.
Lynn's Coffee and Crepes is planning to have a grand opening in February. They are located at 9205 Skyway at the corner of Skyway and Clark Road in Paradise.