Destroyed in the flood, the historic venue has been rebuilt; hosts new festival
When the February flooding hit Guerneville, Raena Metzger, co-owner of Rio Nido Roadhouse, said she wasn’t sure if the restaurant and concert venue would ever reopen.
“We were a total loss,” Metzger said, referring to the damage done.
Then friends and members of the community stepped in to help. Christian Renninger started a GoFundMe campaign; Brooks Dierker, Daniel Strickland and Eli Meyskens, who have been active in Bay Area music scenes for more than a decade, raised money for rebuilding at a fundraiser at the Forestville Club.
Metzger said the funds raised were used to pay bills that were piling up for the roadhouse.
“We bought supplies for cleanup and rebuild and bought lunch for volunteers when we were able,” Metzger said.
Local businesses, including Stumptown Brewery, Trio, Korbel Delicatessen and Smart Pizza, also kicked in lunch for the volunteers.
The Rio Nido Roadhouse reopened May 11.
“Community members and employees volunteered time doing messy manual labor and construction. Essentially, they rebuilt the roadhouse,” Metzger said.
Now Metzger and her crew are ready to host a new event at the roadhouse: the Real Neato Music Festival, on Saturday, June 15, from 2 to 10 p.m.
The festival is being organized by Dierker, Strickland and Meyskens (yep, the same guys who put on the fundraiser at the Forestville Club).
The headliner is Bay Area band La Gente SF, a band that mixes world music, hip-hop, reggae, salsa and cumbia, a form of Columbian dance music, similar to salsa.
The other nine bands are Caravan 222, Dominique Gomez, Down Dirty Shake, EagleWolfSnake, Emily Afton, John Courage, One Grass Two Grass, The HA and The Spindles, mixing genres of Americana, alt-country, folk, indie rock and soul.
The bands Down Dirty Shake and One Grass Two Grass feature local musicians, who also helped support the roadhouse’s rebuild. AJ Ayez of Down Dirty Shake, who works for Seismic Brewing, donated gifts from the brewery. Bud Dillard and partner Shivawn Brady of the band One Grass Two Grass also volunteered their time to help the roadhouse: Brady managed a fundraising auction for the roadhouse for which Dillard offered mandolin lessons.
Going through this disaster made Metzger realize how tight-knit of a community the roadhouse is and how its supporters are tantamount to family. Metzger said she knows how lucky they are and is thankful for every act of kindness and donation.
“This is our superpower: we work together and always make it happen. We are excited to be back, do what we do best — throw one heck of a party,” Metzger said.
The Rio Nido Roadhouse is on 14540 Canyon Two Road in Guerneville. Tickets for the Real Neato Music Festival are $25 to $35, available at realneato.com.