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Visit Creekside Cafe from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday at 239 Boyes Blvd., Sonoma. Closed Mondays. For more information, call 707-996-8062.

Mike Monahan and his son, Casey, share one goal as they set out for work each morning. They want their restaurant patrons to be satisfied.

The pair work in tandem at Creekside Cafe in Boyes Hot Springs, where popular menu items like Chef Marco Echeverria’s secret-recipe French toast, huevos rancheros, and biscuits and gravy draw in crowds for breakfast and lunch six days a week.

Mike, 63, and Casey, 24, keep a steady pace even as lines form on busy weekends. The father-and-son duo know how to keep one another calm during the most hectic days — an art they developed working side-by-side for the past six years.

“You just see the light at the end of the tunnel and power through,” Casey said. “It’s stressful, and a lot of hours. We try to keep everybody happy, the employees and the guests.”

He and his father can read one another and recognize when the other needs a break. On particularly busy days — such as Father’s Day — the duo is in constant motion.

The Monahans will work together until the cafe closes at 2 p.m., with their own Father’s Day celebration coming after a hectic work day. Mike can’t recall taking a Father’s Day off, but is happy he’s working together with his son.

“We depend on each other,” Mike said. Added Casey: “It’s the trust.”

Mike and his wife, Jody, opened Creekside Cafe 19 years ago, after moving to Sonoma from San Francisco. Jody had experience as a server and cook; Mike owned the Ninth Inning Tavern in the Inner Sunset district in San Francisco for 14 years, after a career in construction.

“My wife always wanted a cafe,” Mike said.

Jody quit her job in San Francisco to help establish the restaurant for a year or so, but then returned to work in the city. This month she retires from her career as a sidewalk inspector with the City and County of San Francisco.

Having Casey, their only child, in the family business is an asset in many ways, Mike said. He’s dependable enough to run the cafe during his parents’ extended vacations, and he’s personable enough to engage patrons, greeting many by name.

“He’s animated, of course, very funny and witty and he’s got a good sense of humor,” Mike said. “He’s learned patience over the years and that’s what you need in this restaurant.”

The casual eatery is about 2,500 square feet, with five patio tables and 12 indoor tables seating up to 45 guests.

It’s small enough that Mike’s five employees, including Casey, work in close proximity as part of a dedicated and supportive team.

That means Mike can easily spot when Casey’s stepped outside for a quick cool down.

“His nickname is Houdini,” Mike said. Casey also can tell when his father is pushed for patience.

They step in for each other, taking orders, serving food and refilling drinks, bussing tables, running tabs, doing whatever is needed.

“We’ve figured out how to make it work,” said Casey, a NASCAR fan and member of the local Native Sons of the Golden West.

They admit there are occasional tense moments when things are chaotic, but considering they work together six days a week, it’s rather rare.

Casey lives at home — and pays rent — and likes hanging out with his dad in their off hours, too. They might take in a Giants or 49ers or Warriors game, go camping and fishing together in the Sierra Nevada, or just relax by the backyard pool with their dogs, Tank and Phoebe.

They’ve grown together, they say, by working together.

“Things have gotten better between us,” Mike said.

Casey said, “We’ve both matured over the years.”

He’s gained a deep appreciation for his father’s strong work ethic and ability to work well with people from all walks of life.

“He’s kindhearted and will do everything he can to try and make you happy,” Casey said.

Casey started helping out at the cafe during his teens and began working there full-time after earning his diploma from Sonoma Valley High School in 2012.

“We bought him a truck,” Mike said, “and he needed gas money.”

Casey and his parents have visited 15 states (including Hawaii) and taken trips to Mexico and Europe together, but Casey now runs the restaurant when his parents travel.

The first time they left for several weeks, back in 2016, Casey had to deal with an unwelcome guest that slithered in at closing time.

It was his first day running the cafe, and the experience was unnerving: a 4-foot gopher snake was coiled up under a table by the entrance.

“He texted me a picture,” Mike said, now laughing at the memory.

The snake was gently swept outdoors, the only glitch in an otherwise uneventful 17-day run while Casey managed the restaurant.

“Casey did fine. The restaurant was here and the bills were paid,” Mike said.

He was hopeful his son might one day take over the cafe, but isn’t certain that will happen.

“Casey’s been in it so long it’s like routine now,” Mike said, “but he wouldn’t mind trying something else.”

For now, the pair love mingling with their regulars, welcoming newcomers and extending the down-home hospitality that’s routine at Creekside Cafe.

“There are no false pretenses here. We’ve always been down to earth. If people expect something else, they’re not going to get it here,” Mike said.

For someone who grew up in San Francisco but spent much of his youth in Sonoma Valley, owning Creekside Cafe is like “coming full circle,” Mike said.

His parents owned a vacation home just a few blocks from where the cafe is located and Mike spent many summer days playing in local creeks or swimming at the popular Boyes Bathhouse. The bathhouse and resort, coincidentally, was located across the street from the Creekside Cafe site; the historic attraction burned down in 1969.

The Monahans pay tribute to the history of the area with old black-and-white photos throughout the cafe.

The building that houses Creekside Cafe dates to 1936, with former uses as a bottling company, bar, card club and, reportedly, a brothel.

Another popular restaurant, The Breakaway Cafe, moved from the location to a larger space before the Monahans opened their cafe.

Mike and Casey appreciate their place in the building’s history and their opportunity to work together.

Contact Towns Correspondent Dianne Reber Hart at sonomatowns@gmail.com.

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