Jason Evenchik's phone rang him out of a dead sleep at 4:30. It was an employee, telling him that water was cascading along the 1300 block of Sansom Street and into Time, one of four bars he owns in Washington Square West, among the city's most densely populated restaurant neighborhoods.
Evenchik opened the security-camera app on his phone, and tapped on the camera trained on Time's basement.
His heart sank.
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"There was so much water pouring in, it was insane," Evenchik said. "I saw it outside the beer walk-in [refrigerator], and I could see kegs floating outside. There had to be a foot of water at that point. By 5 [a.m.], it was nearly 3 feet. By 5:15, it was probably chest-high." The water crested just below the electrical panel, he said, but the damage was major. "We have to pull everything out of the basement," he said. He would not speculate when Time would return.
Many businesses lost power and natural gas, crucial for reopening.
The flood damage was capricious. Take the intersection of 13th and Sansom Streets.
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All the restaurants were closed at least Tuesday and possibly Wednesday as well. El Vez, on the southeast corner, suffered water damage, a representative said. Zavino, on the northwest corner, had a flooded basement and a small electrical fire that owner Greg Dodge. Capogiro, on the northeast corner, was largely spared, said owner Stephanie Reitano, who said mopping would solve her issues — and backup generators kept the gelato cold when the power had failed. The hot-water heater at Tredici, on the southwest corner, was damaged, said Dodge, the restaurant owner.
With some utilities off, reopenings were uncertain.
Evenchik's Bar, two doors from Time, also had water damage, but it was not nearly as severe. Tiki, another Evenchik-owned bar at 13th and Chancellor Streets, was spared, as was Vintage, his restaurant-bar on 13th Street near Sansom.
Fergus Carey at Fergie's on Sansom Street credited two employees — working late — who redirected floodwaters by pushing them into an outside drain. Carey noticed some mud in the basement, but his business was unaffected, he said.
HipCityVeg's Broad Street location was closed Tuesday, as was the related bar-restaurant Charlie was a sinner, on 13th Street near Sansom.