The restaurant business is tough and unpredictable and also has its undeniable charms. In Santa Rosa, one of those charms is Estrellita Lyons, better known as Lita, who has worked in Sonoma County as a waitress and as a restaurant owner for going on four decades.

These days she presides over Lita’s Cafe, an old school-style diner on Mendocino Avenue near Santa Rosa Junior College. She keep a sharp eye on both the kitchen and the front of the house, and chatting with her regulars, some of whom have followed her for years.

Soundbytes, a Press Democrat podcast, spent a recent morning at Lita’s Cafe, taking in Lita’s view of the business and learning about — and waiting for — “The Boom.”

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