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Restaurants hoping Labor Day would help offset COVID get rained out

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Posted at 3:27 PM, Sep 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-07 18:58:02-04

VALLEY VIEW, Ohio — Four of the five roads that lead to the Canal Towpath Bar and Grille were flooded on the day when Chef T.J. Walters hoped a busy holiday crowd would help offset a coronavirus-slowed 2020.

Makeshift flood protection tried to keep the rising water out of the business itself.

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Plastic boards and bags of sand try to protect the Canal Towpath Bar and Grille from rising water.

“We’re struggling right now with the economy with COVID and now we have this,” said Walters pointing to the water around him. “We’re down probably about 70% so we started doing things like DoorDash and everything else just to try to stay afloat.”

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High water in every direction around the Canal Towpath Bar and Grille makes it challenging for customers to get to the restaurant.

As the day went on, large cars and trucks kept coming into Canal Towpath Bar and Grille’s parking lot. A few cell phone pictures of the flooded street and videos of cars trying to pass seemed to often result in patrons venturing inside the restaurant after all.

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Customers in large trucks brave the high water to get to the Canal Towpath Bar and Grille.

“We took time, extra prep, preparation to make ribs and go out of our way to go ahead and do the extras,” said Walters before the onlookers arrived. “Now we have a flood and there's no business.”

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Much of the Canal Towpath Bar and Grille's parking lot was flooded for most of Labor Day.

Canal Road, near the Cuyahoga River and old Erie Canal, floods about three times a year, according to Walters. Still, residents like Luis Colon say Monday’s rising water levels were higher than normal.

“This is one of the worst [floods] I’ve seen in a [while],” said Colon, who drove down in a large truck to take pictures of the road.

He was surprised because he saw workers digging out the canal, making it deeper, allowing out to hold more water.

“They dug it out, made it wider, and they redid the whole street and right now, it's bad,” said Colon.

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