Restaurants begin reopening after water emergency

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Story by: Janai Norman
Updated: 6/13/2013 12:37 pm Published: 6/13/2013 12:16 pm

A sign reading “closed due to BA water main break” remained posted on the door at Duffy’s Restaurant when Fox23 Crews showed up to talk about the cost business owner paid during Broken Arrow’s water emergency.

The owner was not yet aware the boil order was lifted.

“Actually I need to take that sign down, I see people coming and leaving still.”

Eddie Alshammat has owned Duffy’s for 25 years, and says he’s never had to close down because of water issues.

“Water? Never.”

And he couldn’t wait for this water emergency to end.

“I was in here waiting for the news, nothing was said yet,” he says. “I was so excited to see you.”

We were then as he started calling employees telling them Duffy’s is back open.

He tells us he averages about 500 customers a day, and was forced to close up shop around 10 am Wednesday.

Fox23’s Janai Norman asked whether he still had customers showing up afterward.

“Oh yeah, I was here, I had to turn them down.”

Turn down customers and turn away money. Alshammat estimates he already lost about $7,000.

But as much as he was hoping to reopen, we found one family that says there was one thing they were also hoping for.

“An open sign,” Brian Gondles said. “Yesterday we had to drive all the way to 71st just to get something to eat.”

Now that it’s back to business as usual, Alshammat tells us he’s hoping more residents like Gondles continue coming out.

And as for dining out more this weekend, Gondles says, “Yeah, we’re here now, so yeah.”

Within 20 minutes of opening up, Duffy’s already had about a half dozen customers pulling into the parking.

Fox23 News spoke with the city’s vice president of economic development who describes the water emergency as a terrible hiccup toward economic growth, but says he doesn’t expect it to have long term effects.

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