Evandy’s Boatel waits for water to recede to start cleanup

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As the water recedes, businesses along the Illinois River are slowly starting to get back to normal.

Employees at Evandy’s Boatel in Naples, Illinois, said they’re just about ready to reopen.

Employees are now able to get to the Boatel. However, they said it needs to go down another three feet, before they can be completely open.

As the water goes down, Evandy’s Boatel is starting the cleanup process.

Inside, employees are preparing to reopen soon, after being closed for more than two weeks.

It’s something that has impacted the business and it’s employees.

“It has impacted us, because we all depend on that extra income for various reasons,” employee Ellen Graves said.

As Graves makes calls to cancel reservations, she said this is a tough time for more than 40 employees who work at the Boatel.

“Now that schools are out, they’re anxious to have their jobs back,” Graves said. “I have some college students that this is going to be their source of income for the summer.”

Co-owner Eric Vangundy said the business has taken quite the hit, as they’ve already missed out on Mother’s Day and now they won’t be opening for Memorial Day either.

“It’s tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue, especially in busy times,” Vangundy said.

He said no water got into the upstairs, but the patio is a different story: causing them to cancel plans for live music.

“Until the water goes off the patio, that cancels those plans,” Vangundy said. “It has to drop about another three feet, then we can wash the patio off and be ready for the summer.”

Employees said they’ll start to clean as soon as they can, with hopes of opening the upstairs restaurant soon.

“We just ask everyone to have patience with us because we can’t fight mother nature, so this is part of it, being on the river,” Graves said. “We’re going to open back up as soon as we possibly can.”

Vangundy said the plan is for the upstairs part of the restaurant to be back up and running the first weekend of June.

Vangundy said you can follow their Facebook page or website for the latest updates.

Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat is a MultiMedia Journalist for WGEM News.

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