Captain’s Quarters Riverside Grille is one of the restaurants forced to closed because of rising river waters. | Courtesy of Captain’s Quarters

This post has been updated.

While the rains have forced several riverfront businesses to close, others are sticking it out for as long as they can.

“We’re open, believe it or not, serving drinks,” said Adele Guarino-Sanders, who bought Harrod’s Creek Tavern, located at 6313 River Road, toward the end of last year.

Guarino-Sanders said her business partner Charles “Rusty” Hocker II and her husband have been placing sandbags around the bar and restaurant, and all the restaurant equipment is being taken out to prevent potential water damage. So, Harrod’s Creek Tavern won’t be serving food but it will serve drinks for as long as it can, she added.

“We’ve been the only ones open for days,” Guarino-Sanders said, adding that the water continues to inch closer as more rain is expected to fall Friday and Saturday. “Now, we know our time has come. That’s just part of being on the river. We are prepared for the worst.”

Joe’s Crab Shack downtown sits on stilts at 131 River Road.

The restaurant’s parking lot, which is government-owned, is closed, but the sit-down seafood restaurant is not, an employee told Insider. The restaurant hopes to survive the weekend without the river waters preventing customers and workers from accessing the restaurant.

Buckhead’s Mountain Grill let customers know on its social media that its Jeffersonville and Bellevue locations will not flood and will remain open despite the rising river crest.

Lupo pizzeria and Italian restaurant co-owner Sarah Balliet let Insider Louisville know that despite water backing up along part of Frankfort Avenue near River Road and Mellwood Avenue. The restaurant is still open for business and accessible from Story Ave.

Some restaurants have been forced to close their doors.

Captain’s Quarters simply stated on Facebook that it’s closed and will reopen when the water recedes.

KingFish‘s River Road location is closed because of a road closure on Zorn Avenue, but to make it up to customers, the restaurant is offering a coupon for $5 off an order of $25 or more for those who make the trek to its Jeffersonville, Ind. store, located at 601 W. Riverside Dr., which is still open.

John Varanese, owner of Levee at the River House and River House Restaurant and Raw Bar, decided to throw a “Flood Party” Friday evening at his namesake restaurant Varanese, located at 2106 Frankfort Avenue.

“As the waters rise, join us in our safe haven for delicious Lent specials and a variety of River House favorites as well,” the event page states.

Levee and River House will remain closed through Sunday, according to their social media pages.

Louisville developer Poe Companies has asked residents at WaterSide apartments at RiverPark Place along River Road to start making preparations to evacuate.

While the apartments are above the 100-year floodplain and power is expected to remain on, the access road to the apartment complex is expected to flood shortly after 10 a.m. Saturday, Valentin Staller, director of development at Poe Companies, told Insider. The company has put more than 300 downtown hotel rooms on hold for residents who need a place to stay and will allow residents to park in the lot across from Slugger Field.

“There are a lot of great reasons to live on the river and within Waterfront Park. But, statistically speaking, this may become a 30-year flood event – this could be our year,” Staller said in a statement. “Our top priorities are safety and communication. We are being as proactive as possible with this situation and giving our residents as much information as we have available with hourly updates.”

Local, state and federal agencies require the apartments to evacuate for safety reasons.

If you know of any other businesses forced to close or holding out in the hopes that water won’t reach their doors, let us know at [email protected]

Louisville native Caitlin Bowling has covered the local restaurant and retail scene since 2014. After graduating from the Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Caitlin got her start at a newspaper in the mountains of North Carolina where she won multiple state awards for her reporting. Since returning to Louisville, she’s written for Business First and Insider Louisville, winning awards for health and business reporting and becoming a go-to source for business news. In addition to restaurants and retail business, Caitlin covers real estate, economic development and tourism. Email Caitlin at [email protected]


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