Restaurant on the mend after recent flood damage

Tap & Dough Bistro co-owner Norma Emerson starts putting her restaurant back together, accompanied by Asterix the dog, after it was severely damaged in the November floods. Photo: Linda Robertson
Tap & Dough Bistro co-owner Norma Emerson starts putting her restaurant back together, accompanied by Asterix the dog, after it was severely damaged in the November floods. Photo: Linda Robertson
When Tap & Dough Bistro co-owner Norma Emerson turned up at her newly opened Middlemarch restaurant and found effluent flowing through it during the November floods, her first instinct was to run and never look back.

And no-one would have blamed her.

''I thought: 'That's it then'.

''For a while there, I said to my husband, 'let's just hope this place disappears and let's not even bother going back'.''

It was the most distressing of times.

But it was a mixture of pride and dogged determination that made her reconsider, she said.

''We were only open nine days when this happened. It just seemed too short to decide that we couldn't go any further.

''We had invested so much, emotionally, into it.

''We just thought, if we walked away, we would be losing everything.''

She said the insurance payout would not cover all of the damage, but if they repaired the building and continued to operate, they believed they could ''make it up over the next few years''.

Owners Richard and Norma Emerson outside their flooded business at Middlemarch in November. Photo: Peter McIntosh
Owners Richard and Norma Emerson outside their flooded business at Middlemarch in November. Photo: Peter McIntosh
So over the past month, she and husband Richard had removed the lower wall linings, carpet, linoleum and medium-density fibreboard cabinets and panelling throughout the building, and some external parts of the building had to be removed to help it dry.

Now that everything had been cleaned and dried, contractors were putting the building back together.

''After the floor was done, I felt quite positive.

''The only problem is, being December, it is hard to get hold of anybody [builders] to help put the place back together again.''

Mrs Emerson estimated the flood had cost her more than $150,000.

This was traditionally the time of year when restaurants were at their busiest, with Christmas work functions and family gatherings.

''I've had to cancel so many bookings.

''We've lost the whole of December and all of January - our two busiest months.

''This is when the holiday-makers come through.

''Every day I see people on bikes from the rail trail coming through. They look around and see nowhere to go and I think 'there goes my money'.''

Despite the losses, she was excited the restaurant was coming together again and she hoped it would reopen in early February, if not earlier.

It was a timely reminder that the new year brought new beginnings, and she was looking forward to organising a ''reopening party'' for the restaurant.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

Add a Comment

 

Advertisement

postanote_header_620_x_80.png

postanote_620_x_25.jpg