LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Captain’s Quarters filled about 1,000 sandbags over the weekend to put around the building, to help keep some of the water out. On Monday, the restaurant’s staff were finishing clearing out chairs, tables and all of the equipment and boxes that they could.
"We're expecting about three feet inside of the restaurant,” David Nold, the restaurant’s manager, said.
Given the restaurant’s location, it is no stranger to floodwaters. This year’s flooding is expected to be less than what it faced last year. Nold said he doesn’t think the water will damage any of the glass, like the floodwaters did the year prior.
"It feels like routine. It does. It's not fun,” Nold said.
Despite being used to the process of packing up, clearing out, and then cleaning, Nold said it still hurts their business.
"We were expecting a pretty decent crowd for Valentine’s day. That’s obviously canceled. We had to cancel a lot of reservations for school dances and things like that," Nold said.
"We had to stop everything. We're starting our hiring process for the summer so it puts a wrench into everything."
Nold said as soon as the water begins to recede they will immediately start cleaning it out.
"It's a lot of power washing, sanitizing, disinfecting," Nold said. "Everything the water touches leaves about that much sludge on every single surface."
He said last year, it took them about 10 days before they could open the doors back up and hope this year’s cleaning process goes just as quickly. Nold added that Captain’s Quarters encourages its staff to help with the cleaning process since they know the floodwaters temporarily puts them out of work.
"We pay them a higher wage, like service staff, give them a little bit higher wage so they can get actually get hours, maintain insurance benefits, things like that,” Nold said.
Just up River Road, Cunningham’s Creekside was doing the exact same thing Monday. Its staff was filling a U-Haul with everything it possibly could.
"We're taking everything out of the place. We're taking all of the equipment, anything electronic, and just as much as we can,” Brent George, the restaurant’s owner, said.
George said they were more proactive this year after the damage they faced from last February’s flooding. After renovations, the restaurant’s walls are now removable.
"We're taking some of the walls with us, so we won't be tearing it off, we'll be putting it back," George said.
He said this will help with the overall cleaning process, which he expects to only take a few days. But he also feels the pressure to open its doors back up quickly after the floodwaters decline.
"I sense the pressure to get back open not only for my customers but really for my staff as well,” George said.
But he said his entire staff has been helpful and positive throughout it all. The restaurant has had to clear out several times in preparation for flooding.
"It never feels routine, it never feels routine,” George said.
He added that it’s not “natural”, saying, "you're used to having people sitting around the river and the creek enjoying themselves as opposed to running away from it."
George said clearing the restaurant out doesn’t necessarily hurt the business’s bottom line. Rather, he said he sees it as something that’s necessary, given its location.
“We just have to react to a bad situation as good as we can,” George said.
The restaurant is closed until the flood threat is over. If you had reservations in the coming weeks, the restaurant will be contacting you.