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Warren’s Wharf Tavern back open after storm

By   /   October 31, 2012  /   Be the first to comment

How’s that for a turnaround?

Photos by Rich Dionne
The Wharf Tavern staff from left, Sandy Morris, Dave Ferrari-Hedman, Doreen Dennis, Kathy Barresi and owner, Greg Esmay share a laugh while prepping for the dinner crowd on Wednesday afternoon. Two nights earlier the restaurant was flooded with almost two feet of water by Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge.

Server Kathy Barresi dressed for Halloween, brings out a birthday cake for regular customer Maurice Mack who turned 83.

Less than 48 hours after Sandy’s storm surge left his restaurant flooded in 18 inches of bay water, Wharf Tavern owner Greg Esmay stood at the bar, looking out at the gray river behind him. A few folks before him were eating their lunch, and another large group was sitting at a table overlooking the water, laughing and talking.

“It wasn’t as bad” as it could have been, said Mr. Esmay of the flood that ruined much of the restaurant’s hardwoods, carpeting and paneling. “We’re working on it a little bit at a time, but we’re open.”

Things didn’t seem so rosy Monday night. High tide hit at 8:30 p.m., leaving Mr. Esmay’s restaurant flooded — a tough break for the restaurateur who lost his Old Grist Mill in Seekonk to fire in June.

But the water started to recede as soon as it crested, and Mr. Esmay and his workers pulled an all-nighter, pulling out ruined flooring, starting the drying process and trying to air out the building. The work continued all day Tuesday, and Mr. Esmay said he was happy with progress. Items that could have gotten ruined — chairs, kitchen equipment and more — had all been put out of water’s reach before the storm. All that’s left now is to replace and repair hardwoods, as well as the carpeting, which was ruined.

The restaurant is back to normal hours, which on Wednesday meant a bit of fun: In honor of Halloween, many of his employees dressed up for the day.

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