MAPLEWOOD, Mo. — A Maplewood restaurant is back open, after it had to close for nearly three months, due to July's historic flooding.
It's the first weekend Deer Creek Bar & Grill is welcoming customers, again.
It was one of many businesses in Maplewood and Brentwood that have spent the last several months rebuilding.
The restaurant opened its doors for the first time since the end of July on Monday, Oct. 17.
Manager Paige Cundy said, the whole week has been packed with their regular customers and a ton of smiling faces, thrilled to see each other again.
"This isn't, just like, some restaurant. It really is like a family," she said.
It's a building that has sat on Laclede Station Road for over 90 years.
Cundy said she has been a part of it for decades.
"It's such a community here, and our customers love us." she said. "They've been coming literally for generations."
Deer Creek Bar & Grill took over the neighborhood staple last year.
According to Cundy, only months before the unthinkable took place.
"We opened up September 12 of 2021 and then flooded July 26 of 2022, so that was devastating," she said.
Water went almost up to the front door handle that early July morning.
The storm left almost everything inside completely ruined and the restaurant had to start from scratch, according to Cundy.
"Because of the staffing shortage across the board, everywhere— It took so much longer than we thought it was going to take," she said.
Cundy said they had to fix everything— from floors to walls, and even electrical wiring.
"Tables and chairs were jumbled everywhere. We had two refrigerators, big kitchen-size refrigerators, that were overturned," she said. "Just jumbled,and obviously, the carpet and the flooring were just mushy [with] sewage water. It was shocking to see, really shocking."
Even though there were setbacks and a rebuilding process of almost three months, Cundy said, they never once thought they couldn't re-open.
"We had to; for our employees," she said. "I know it sounds corny, but we really love our customers. They've become like family and friends to us, so there was never a moment where we were like, 'No, we're not going to reopen.'"
Flood waters left a mark on the restaurant's walls, Cundy said.
"Everybody's just so happy that we are back open, as are we," she said.
Cundy said, they wouldn't have been able to do it without the community's support.
Once the flood shut the restaurant down, she said, a customer started a GoFundMe to raise money for the employees. People donated to help the employees stay on their feet for the past three months, and ultimately come back to the restaurant and work, once it reopened.