She has her hands full. WOW paid close to $400,000 for the new properties and has loans on both — $125,000 for the WOW house and $147,000 for the old diner. The WOW house loan came privately from former Santa Rosa City Councilwoman Veronica Jacobi, who was persuaded that the opportunity to buy a foreclosed house right next door to the cafe was just too good to pass up. Right now she's giving Cheatham flexibility to repay as she can.

Cheatham figures she'll need $45,000 to refurbish the diner. And while she doesn't have that in hand, she fully expects the funds to materialize in time to open sometime this summer. She's looking to WOW's annual JuneBug fundraiser on June 15 at the South A Street diner, a food-rich and family-friendly dance party featuring singer Leela James and The Blue Moon Band.

"She's the type of person, when her capacity grows, she looks at what else she can do," Jacobi said. "She has a lot of faith that it's going to work out. And her special ingredients are love and skill."

(You can reach Staff Writer Meg McConahey at 521-5204 or