Restaurant owner killed in hit-and-run crash

He called men and women baby, cooked a mean pescatore and was a warm, loving man, who accepted every greeting with a hug. Full Story
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Sandy Bayles

Lucerne, CA

#2 Sep 27, 2010
What a horrible loss for the community...our sincere sympathy to his family and friends. We have been meaning to get out there to eat, as we heard it was a warm and inviting place to dine and enjoy the company and the views.... our loss too.... but we will come soon, in his memory and honor. Sandy & Phil Bayles
Rebecca from Sonoma

San Francisco, CA

#3 Sep 27, 2010
I've always remembered Zino as being a genuinely wonderful person from the time I worked at his Sonoma restaurants 16 years ago. What a loss. My condolences go out to his family and friends. I know he will be missed.
Jim and Lita Lenhart

San Francisco, CA

#4 Sep 28, 2010
My wife and I first met Zino & Jan in April 2006, we stayed at the inn while looking for our home in the riviera. They were so wonderful during our search. We learned of Zino's accident during dinner Saturday night at the restaraunt. I will never forget the christmas eve we spent with Zino two years ago, we were dropping off chrismas cakes, Zino invited us in before business hours we chatted over a couple drafts. You will be missed dearly my friend, god bless.
Valerie and Tony Becerra

Clearlake, CA

#5 Sep 28, 2010
The warmth and love we felt every time we went to dinner at Zino’s, met up with him at a function or saw him on the street is indescribable. He added class to Lake County. We will miss him terribly. Our heartfelt condolences to Jan, their families.
Janice Johnson

Fort Dodge, IA

#9 Sep 28, 2010
Jan and Zino treated me like family. I never felt alone when in their presence. I have had many great meals there and will again. They were a great couple.
Brad and Ronda Backlin

Spring, TX

#12 Sep 28, 2010
What a loss. Zino was such an incredible person. My wife and I enjoyed our little corner at Zino's as often as possible where he made us feel like life long friends. It is very rare to meet an individual who could make people feel so special and release a spirit of friendship that made you enjoy the greeting and time with him even more than the culinary delights coming from the kitchen. We will miss you Zino. Our prayers go out for Jan and all those who will miss this delightful gift of a man sent to Lake County.
Just desserts

Clearlake, CA

#13 Sep 28, 2010
whatever wrote:
<quoted text>
What a classless jerk promoting politics on this board. Just for that, Mitchell has my vote.
Agreed. I was leaning the other way anyhow.

Condolences to family and friends.
Lowell Grant

Richmond, CA

#14 Sep 28, 2010
This is so sad, not just for Zino and his family but for all of us. How many hit and runs have we seen on our roads recently? WAY TOO MANY!

Another article today about a Lakeport woman killed in a head on near Blue Lakes, the killer drifted over the double yellow line, and then struck another vehicle. Arrested for DUI but already out on bail.

So many uninsured on our roads, unlicensed too. In other states the license plates belong to the state, not the vehicle. To get a plate you need to show proof of insurance or you can't drive, period.
We need accountability!!!

Since: Oct 09

Location hidden

#15 Sep 28, 2010
People running the sign there or turning left in front of oncoming traffic is common in that spot. They just expect the right of way traffic to "figure it out" Must be a lot of drugs up there.

I have daily occasion to drive down that way at various times of the day. It is very common for drivers to run that sign, or waiting to turn left into Seigler Canyon, to impulsively turn after waiting exactly when another car is passing through 29. Why they sit there and wait until they are possibly going to cause an accident to go is anyone's guess. Stupidity,stoned, drunk and impulsiveness I guess. Isn't the registered owner of the car responsible? That's why the DMV had people sign the transfer papers. Arrest the registered owner and he/she might "remember" who they either sold it to, or who was really driving, if not them.
fog

AOL

#16 Sep 28, 2010
NoReichwing, I just called the CHP, my wife and I were remembering a friend who owned a blue surburban possibly that year it might be a lead. Hopefully it will amount to something positive.
Nothing will bring Zino back, nothing will make this situation better. We are so sad for everyone who had the opportunity to know and love Zino. It might help if we continued to dine at the restaurant. We can lend our support to the family.
fog

AOL

#17 Sep 28, 2010
let me preface that, our friend "once" owned a blue surburban, he did sell it years ago. Very possibly the vehicle was sold to someone on Cobb.
VelvetHellKat

Watsonville, CA

#18 Sep 28, 2010
We all know that the registered owner of the surburban is going to lie about driving the vehicile that day. Will probably say it was stolen or some BS like that like. Lets just keep our fingers that there are only one set of finger/palm prints on the steering wheel and DOJ gets a positive match to whoever owns the car. I'm so glad that they have the vehicle, lets just hope law enforcement doesn't mess this investigation up as they have in evidence collection in past cases that remain unsolved in Lakeport.

I knew Zino as well. I met him when he first came into my business in 2006. He was a wonderful man. Everything everyone says is true about him. He was just a warm soul. We will miss him and continue to support his dream by visiting his restuarant frequently.
Tina Mintz

Englewood, CO

#19 Sep 28, 2010
This is a sad day on many levels. My heart is heavy learning of the news. We lost a great man. His warm embrace as we arrive at the restaurant will be missed as well as his smiling face. He was so happy to be living and working in the county where he loved his surroundings. Our hearts go out to Jan & their family & friends. Keeping the restaurant open is a wonderful tribute to Zino and a blessing for the rest of us. It's a destination we can come by boat or car & know it' will feel like home.
lake co roads scare me

Nice, CA

#20 Sep 28, 2010
The registered owner of the vehicle should be arrested for: "Obstruction of Justice," or "Impeding a Police Investigation." Or even due to the seriousness of the crime they should be charged as an "Accessory" to the crime! Then we see how fast they sing! Let's just hope that the investigators get what they need to put the responsible party away for a very long time! Condolences to the family and friends.
lake co roads scare me

Nice, CA

#21 Sep 28, 2010
fog wrote:
NoReichwing, I just called the CHP, my wife and I were remembering a friend who owned a blue surburban possibly that year it might be a lead. Hopefully it will amount to something positive.
Nothing will bring Zino back, nothing will make this situation better. We are so sad for everyone who had the opportunity to know and love Zino. It might help if we continued to dine at the restaurant. We can lend our support to the family.
They have the surburban - it was abandoned on the side of the road. "The CHP reported that its officers located the suspect vehicle on Friday but are continuing to investigate who the Suburban's driver was." Now they must figure out who!
enough

Lucerne, CA

#23 Sep 28, 2010
lake co roads scare me wrote:
The registered owner of the vehicle should be arrested for: "Obstruction of Justice," or "Impeding a Police Investigation." Or even due to the seriousness of the crime they should be charged as an "Accessory" to the crime! Then we see how fast they sing! Let's just hope that the investigators get what they need to put the responsible party away for a very long time! Condolences to the family and friends.
Some of LC roads scare me too. I don't know how many times I pulled out onto the highway there off of Siegler and had someone come barreling down the grade and almost hit me and my family. It's a very dangerous intersection! Usually you're coming off of Siegler with close to no speed onto a highway where there is a down hill grade and the drivers are going over the speed limit. They need to patrol that intersection more or more warning signs to avoid more collisions there.
Oldman

United States

#24 Sep 28, 2010
What a Waste...........
Koalabear2525

Oakland, CA

#25 Sep 28, 2010
lets find this driver and charge him with d u i and hit and run nd not stopping at the stop sign. give him 15 years behind bars
Local Legends

United States

#26 Sep 28, 2010
"It's a very dangerous intersection!"
I'll second that! From the stop sign on Siegler, you must creep out almost onto the highway in order to see whether there's oncoming, and usually very fast downhill traffic.
Coming south on Highway 29 the visibility is better, but as "enough" says, people are often speeding. You never know whether someone waiting at the stop sign will decide to pull out right in front of you. When keeping to 60 mph coming down that hill I've been tailgated, lights and horns sounded at me.
It is sad when a moment of carelessness takes the life of someone so much loved by many in the community. Just a reminder of how transitory life is. Please everyone, drive carefully. Leave early and give yourself plenty of time if you must be punctual. Don't risk your life and the lives of others by being disorganized and then saying "Oops, I'm late--must hurry and shave off a few seconds!"
Celeste in Sonoma

United States

#32 Sep 29, 2010
When I learned of Zino's death my heart just broke. I spent so much time in his place in Sonoma that I stopped being a customer and became a friend. My family spent every single birthday there until he closed. While pregnant with my daughter we had a standing rule that i was allowed to order anything I wanted and it didnt matter if it was on the menu or not. When I had her, I took her to see him and she was barely 48 hours old. He held her and took her all over the restaurant introducing her to everyone including the kitchen. She grew up there eating only the best and now at 16 years old is a self proclaimed food snob. I cannot imagine a world without his hugs, his kisses and his glowing smile. He always donated to every fundraiser that asked, he remembered everyone's favorite dishes and he was never too busy to sit down and share a meal with us. I understand all too well the sadness that has taken over your town right now because here in Sonoma we are all grieving deeply as well. The place that took over his spot here on the plaza to this day is always referred to as "you know that place...the place that used to be Zino's" ...and it always will. forever. I miss you deeply my friend.

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