While parts of Dallas were ravaged by flash flooding Monday morning, restaurants and bars in hard-hit areas such as Deep Ellum, downtown and East Dallas were assessing the damage.
Joel Morales, who runs both The Peak Inn in East Dallas and Adair’s Saloon in Deep Ellum, said the Peak Inn was “shattered,” with four inches of water in the building from front to back. Morales hopes not to close at all, “but possibly one day,” he said.
Adair’s was okay, he said, but it was unpredictable for a while. “When it rains moderately, it usually comes in the descent at the back door. But we also have a sump pump and sandbags, so that was covered. A little water started coming through the front door, which I’ve only seen twice in over twenty years.”
Tracy Miller, chef-owner at Local restaurant on Elm Street, said the eatery’s front entrance was flooded Monday morning. The water receded quickly, but leaves and dirt were still scattered across the hardwood floor in the dining room.
In Expo Park, Shad Kvetko of bar Las Almas Rotas said he and his business partner were assessing flood damage. Some water got in but not enough to close the restaurant.
But nearby, the dining room of Tarantino’s Cicchetti Bar and Record Lounge on Parry Avenue received about 6 inches of water, but it had all drained off by about 10 a.m., owner Peter Tarantino said.
Tarantino said he needs to replace all the rugs and carpets in the lounge area and a few boards were damaged, but the furniture may still be salvageable. “Hopefully we can open the bar on Thursday with some snacks,” he said. “I don’t give up so easily.”
He adds that the infrastructure in the area needs some work and the buildings are old. Tarantino lives in an apartment nearby and said he was initially unable to leave on foot. “Exposition Avenue turned into a river,” he said. “I couldn’t leave my apartment. I looked out the window and it was just a river flowing. Same on Parry Avenue.’
Tarantino has been on a “roller coaster” since signing a lease for the restaurant in 2019, he said. He postponed opening in 2020 due to the pandemic and finally opened in 2021. At that time, the restaurant was hit by sanitation problems, labor problems, staff sickened by COVID-19 and inflation. The restaurant was recently temporarily closed as the construction of the Music Hall at Fair Park resulted in fewer dining activities.
“I’m trying to get my doors open again, and then this happens. It’s just one monster after another,” Tarantino said. “The hospitality industry needs a break. I’ve seen more chaos in the past two years than in my entire life.”
On Cedar Springs Road, Alexandre’s Bar declared a “bad weather emergency”. An Instagram post reads: “As access to Oak Lawn is impassable, only local workers are allowed to work today if they are safe. This means that our kitchen will not be open today. We monitor the weather conditions and keep you informed. Please don’t drive unless you have to and never cross moving or even small inches of water in the roadway.”
In Oak Cliff, Xaman Cafe posted a video to Instagram of workers sweeping water off the floor and front door, saying it would close “until further notice” and wait for the rain to settle.
Freelance writer Amanda Albee contributed to this report.