Devastating cafe flood caused by running tap
LISMORE'S Bank Cafe is closed until further notice after a tap left on in the office space above flooded the heritage roof and shop.
Owner Brad Rickard said he got the call alerting him to the incident at 5:30am on Wednesday morning from one of his chef's who had gone in early to open the kitchen.
"I just jumped into the car and headed straight in, walked into the building and basically the ceiling was like a shower," Mr Rickard said.
"It was coming through the ceiling itself and the light fittings, down into the cafe, over the counter, onto the furniture and through the floor."
Mr Rickard said he believed the tap from upstairs was left on accidentally for over 12 hours.
"It ran out of the sink onto the floor of that office, through the floor boards into the ceiling cavity and then once the ceiling cavity filled up it started coming out anywhere it could," he said.
Mr Rickard said it could take the business longer to recover now than after the flood, because the heritage ceiling and custom furniture was significantly water logged.
"Drying the ceiling, at this stage is going to take a least a week and that's before any tradesman can start coming in," Mr Rickard said.
"The ceiling is handmade, it's probably 80 or 90-years-old so it's not something you cut the plaster board down and knock some up."
Having only recently renovated the entire shop fit just last year, Mr Rickard said he was frustrated and running out of energy continually restoring the popular Molesworth St cafe.
"I thought: 'Am I going to be able to do this again? Am I going to be able to go through this again and come through the other side - not just financially but emotionally," he said.
"The past 12 months - it's not me alone, everyone in this town, what we have been through - there is nothing left, there's no energy left.
"Most of us are feeling the effects of the flood more now than we were directly after.
"We've just been pushing so hard to get our lives and our businesses back in check that we're running on empty now."
But customers are told not to fret, as the Bank Cafe will be back as soon as possible and better than ever.
"We will be back in business as soon as we can, complete with a whole new killer menu, Friday Night Buns and Hops and a fresh-as cafe that will hopefully stay dry for an eternity," Mr Rickard said.
Keep you eyes peeled on their Facebook page for regular updates and hopefully a close reopening date.
"Best case scenario two weeks, but who knows it could be three or four weeks," Mr Rickard said.
"When we do reopen come grab a coffee.
"Any regular customers coming back and new customers are greatly welcomed, we would be happy to see you."