Nepenthe, Landmark Big Sur Restaurant, Named Senate District 17 Small Business of the Year

June 05, 2017

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Today, Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel) will recognize the Big Sur restaurant Nepenthe as his 2017 Small Business of the Year.  The restaurant’s owner, Kirk Gafill, will be honored at the California Small Business Day Luncheon at the Sheraton Hotel in Sacramento, California.

“Nepenthe has been a landmark in the Big Sur community for 68 years,” said Senator Monning.  “This year Mr. Gafill and his staff have gone above and beyond by playing a leadership role in aiding the community after the unexpected closure of the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge.  They worked tirelessly to helped locals stay informed about the situation and worked to find solutions.  In addition, they donated 10 percent of their profits to community services organizations.  It is my honor to recognize Nepenthe as the Senate District 17 2017 Small Business of the Year.”

Since its establishment in 1947 along the coast of Highway One, Nepenthe has been family owned and operated, and has been a draw to artists, locals, and tourists alike. 

When the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge was suddenly closed this past February, Nepenthe worked closely with the Coast Property Owners' Association to airlift food into Big Sur for over 450 stranded residents; coordinated distribution and storage of one ton of donated non-perishable food, including diapers and soap; and provided material support for a satellite school for 40 children who could not attend school due to the road closure.

Additionally, Nepenthe established a Carmel office staffed by its senior management team to maintain regular communications with its 120 displaced employees, assisting them in filing for unemployment insurance benefits, helping them to secure new jobs for the interim period, and using its social media network to provide daily updates on road closures, weather conditions, and critical information for locals and potential visitors.   


Contact: Elizabeth Stitt, (916) 651-4017