Restaurants start to bounce back after 9 feet of water fills River Road establishments

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It has been about a month since floodwaters forced the closures of many businesses along the riverfront.

The water receded two weeks ago, leaving damaged and dirtied buildings dealing with major cleanup efforts ahead. The mess created downtime business 
owners wanted to minimize.

"It was a lot of painting," Captain's Quarters co-owner Andrew Masterson said. "It was a lot of window cleaning, a lot of floor cleaning, a lot of electrical work. But now we are ready to go."

Masterson said he set a goal for Captain's Quarters to be the first business along the river to open.

"We are all a community and try to support each other the best we can," Masterson said. "We did make it and we were the first to open."

Three weeks ago, the captain statue located on the restaurant's back deck was almost fully submerged in nine feet of water. It took a week to dry out the inside of the restaurant.

"For some reason, this time the river left behind a lot of mud," Masterson said.

Masterson said this is the worst flooding he has experienced in 20 years. It left behind 86 broken windows and extensive electrical damage. The flooding cost him somewhere between $400,000 and $500,000.

"All the riverfront restaurants are here for the same reason," Masterson said. "It's the beauty of the Ohio River. We take the good with the bad. We know it is going to happen."

Masterson said he and his employees are anxious for customers to fill the dining room after three weeks of being closed.

"I was determined to be the first," Masterson said.

Not everything on River Road has bounced back just yet, however.

At Cunningham's Creekside, a pile of sandbags sat outside a sign that read, "Reopening Soon." Owner Brent George said the goal was to open by April 1, but he does not want to rush progress.

Farther east, Harrods Creek Tavern's interior is gutted and crews are renovating. The owner said it will be another 10 or 14 days until he opens.

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