PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Two businesses in downtown Palm Springs are recovering after a fire last Wednesday forced them to close. A kitchen fire at Bongo Johnny's caused smoke damage at neighboring businesses such as Mischief Cards and Gifts and Stacy's at Palm Springs.
For Stacy Louis, owner of the bar that bears his name said he found out about the blaze from his manager.
"I said okay we’ll get through this," he said. "You just got to be positive about things like this."
Louis is making sure his business cleared of any asbestos dangers before beginning the cleanup process.
"We’re just waiting to clean up after one last lab test comes through," he said.
The other business next door, Mischief Cards and Gifts suffered smoke and water damage. It suffered some significant losses as the soot and ash from the fire ruined many products in the gift shop.
“You know that permeation of the smoke and the smell, it just doesn't mix for good customer service," Patrick Mundt, an owner of the store, said.
Despite the loss of product, he’s remaining optimistic about his situation.
“If you look at the bright side, we’re going to get a fresh coat of paint, and a new look to the store so something that is a bad thing can actually turn into something that will be okay," Mundt said.
While both business owners were working to re-open, they’re also making sure the employees are able to stay on their feet.
"You know we have very good insurance and they’ve been great to work with so far," Mundt said. "They’ll cover the loss of business and keep the employees hired."
"My employees make my bar and I’ve told them they will make their wages as they always do," Louis said. "Paying them for the time off."
In fact, a GoFundMe account was set up by a community member for the bartenders at Stacy’s to help recover lost tips. Louis says he’s grateful for the support.
"I’ve never seen a community as together as Palm Springs," he said. "I’m really impressed how well they do...sticking together...helping each other out."
Mundt said he planned on reopening Mischief in about a month. Louis said the re-opening of his bar was dependent on asbestos testing in his unit.
Anyone interested in helping the bartenders at Stacy's can go to the GoFundMe account here.