Lake Area restaurants struggling to remain open with no running water

Lake Area restaurants struggling to remain open with no running water

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The ice storm has impacted restaurants in the Lake Area. Many of them are unable to open their doors due to a lack of running water.

“We’re not able to open because we don’t have city water,” says Paul Burklow, general manager of Rikenjaks Brewing Company.

It is one of the many restaurants forced to close shop for several days due to the lack of water.

“You add it all up: low water, boil water advisory, food safety, the road conditions,” says David Griffin, owner of Chick-fil-A. “It’s like hey, let’s just give it one more day.”

The many food establishments closed in the Lake Area is adding a strain for residents who may be without food.

“I couldn’t go to Chick-fila and Domino’s was packed,” says customer Lucah Broussard.

“We were across the street,” says customer Shannon Martin. “We weren’t able to get anything over there. So, we just saw Torchy’s, it was lit up like a Christmas tree so we decided to come on over here.”

Some restaurants like Torchy’s Tacos and McDonald’s are working off limited amounts of bottled or purified water. For others, the lack of water and business is impacting revenue.

“When you take a hit like that, it’s kinda unfortunate,” says Burklow.

“You can’t put profits and sales over people,” says Griffin. “It’s a no-brainer.”

All owners can agree though, each hit by Mother Nature is offering a lesson in resiliency.

“We’re in recovery mode right now, which thankfully, we’ve had a lot of practice with hurricanes, COVID, and all this other stuff going on,” says Burklow. “We kind of feel like we have merit badges in disaster at this point.”

“Sadly, we’re starting to get used to it, but that’s just part of Southwest Louisiana; but the advantages of living here far outweigh it,” says Griffin. [There are] such good people here - they are going to stick together.”

Many of the restaurants closed on Wednesday are hoping to reopen by Thursday morning, if water pressure is restored in the city’s system.

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