WARREN, R.I. - It's safe to say the Old Grist Mill owner is having a tough year. First, his well–known Seekonk restaurant burned down. Now, Hurricane Sandy nearly washed away his second restaurant in Warren.
Narragansett Bay was inside Greg Esmay's Warren restaurant.
"We may get a super high tide that comes up towards the decks, but we never get water in the building," said Esmay. But , Monday night, the Wharf Tavern was surrounded.
"It just kept coming, kept coming until it was a few feet deep through the whole thing," said Esmay. It's a sight that hasn't been seen here for 20 years, since Hurricane Bob.
There's still a water line leftover from the flooding. It's about two feet high. The floor had to be ripped out because there was just so much damage.
Esmay and his staff of 45 spent most of the night cleaning . They have a lot on the line, especially since Esmay's other restaurant the Old Grist Mill was destroyed in a fire just a few months ago.
"We have to keep this one running. We can't afford to have both restaurants down. We'd probably lose the restaurants," said Esmay.
That means workers would lose their jobs. Twelve Grist Mill employees have already been relocated to the Wharf Tavern.
"I spent 15 years at the Grist Mill and it's just been a rough year," said bartender Sandy Morris, "Just didn't want to lose another job."
The Wharf Tavern was able to open back up Tuesday afternoon, but Esmay's tough year isn't over. Even with insurance, between his two restaurants it'll cost him tens of thousands in repairs.