The Oak walls are warped. The floor is torn up. The upholstered chairs and booths are gone.
The will be closed for the next two months while major repairs and renovations are gone inside the 23-year-old restaurant on Erie Avenue. The area was severely flooded due to Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee drenched the area in August. The facility was also flooded in March, but the restaurant’s owner said before this year, flooding was never a problem.
“We were an island. We used to open up right away after a storm and people were really surprised,” said Tom Fitzpatrick, the establishment’s owner.
Twenty-seven inches of water seeped into the establishment. Fitzpatrick was there with a crew recently removing everything lower than four feet, including the sheetrock, everything in the bathroom, and replacing the island at the center of the bar.
Between the cost of repairs and lost business, Fitzpatrick said he estimates to lose “hundreds of thousands” of dollars. He is trying to get employees jobs at other Grasshopper restaurants while the establishment is closed.
Other businesses on Route 23 North, including the A&P and HomeGoods were flooded and are expected to remain closed for months, while other businesses in the same plaza, such as V&J Pizza, were open while water was still several inches deep in the plaza’s parking lot.
Fitzpatrick said he has loss of business insurance, but that does not cover flood events.
But Fitzpatrick said that the renovating will give him a chance to improve the establishment.
“If doesn’t make sense to reopen the way we were,” Fitzpatrick said. “If we’re going to be closed for two months, we might as well make changes.”
Steve and Valerie Boyle said the flooding has been getting worse recently. The Boyles own the on Erie Avenue, which has been in business for 22 years.
“We never used to have any water, it never came up past the bend in the road over there until the past few years,” Steve Boyle said.
Boyle said he has flood insurance for 17 years, but didn’t have it for this most recent flood event. He and his wife repaired the damage themselves. The restaurant was closed for two weeks. Boyle said he estimates it cost about $10,000 in repairs and lost business.
“If it happens again, we won’t fix it,” Steve said.