Free food for those without power in Deep River

DEEP RIVER --  With tens of thousands of people without power, as a result of Sunday's powerful wind and rain storm, a tiny restaurant in Deep River is doing its part to help Connecticut recover.

The Whistle Stop Café always has charity on the menu, especially when there is little bit of advertising.

Hedy Watrous, The owner of the restaurant, said Tuesday that she doesn't have power or water at her house because of the store. That gave her an idea.

"I came down here (to the Whistle Stop) to brush my teeth," she said. "I put on the coffee, made myself something to eat and then I thought 'I'm not alone like this. I'm sure thousands of people are without it'," meaning power and water.

So, she took to social media.

"I put on Facebook come on in and get breakfast," Watrous said. "Let us feed you. Charge your phone. Get water."

All free of charge.

"It's just food," she said. "That's all it is."

Watrous is all about community. She offers nearly a dozen healing teas. And, every month, she cooks a different charitable dinners, which is listed on a blackboard above the grill. In October, it was for Hurricane Maria relief in Puerto Rico.

"We raised what I thought was $2,500," she said.

And then word spread about what she was doing.

"Then, I opened up a check from my insurance company and they sent me $500," she added with a smile. Noting that the total donation to Puerto Rico will likely be close to $5,000.

"She's an interesting person," said frequent customer Carl Conrad of Haddam. "We've come to some of the dinners too and the people that come in here are interesting."

"Tt's just incredible to be a part of something more than just a restaurant," said Whistle Stop Cafe employee Alyssa Reese.

And, if you're without power too, she says you too can brush your teeth at the Whistle Stop.

"But, in the bathroom sink because the health department won't let you use my sink," she said chuckling