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Rising river puts Evandy’s Boatel cleanup, reopening on hold

The reopening of a business along the Illinois River is on hold, due to rising water.

Come July, Evandy’s Boatel in Naples, Illinois, will have been closed for two months and employees said there’s nothing to do now, but wait.

Patience is running out at Evandy’s Boatel, as owner Eric Vangundy said they’re by no means done fighting this flood.

For about a week and a half, power washers were in full force to wash all the mud and grime out of the parking lot and outdoor patio– but that didn’t last long. Vangundy said the rain up north is to blame.

“We had planned on opening this Friday, but the water has came up higher, instead of going lower and now it’s going to push us back at least another week,” Vangundy said.

That forced him to postpone the trucks coming to replace expired food and go through another week of no sales.

“It’s money you never had,” Vangundy said. “But 100,000 dollars wouldn’t even come close to the loss of revenue.”

Although the restaurant did lose a lot in revenue, Vangundy said the biggest impact has been on almost fifty employees who have been out of work for almost two months.

“Our full-time employees, there’s been a couple that have had to go get work elsewhere, some are laying, waiting for us,” Vangundy said. “When this is your livelihood, which it is for them, that’s to me, the biggest impact.”

Vangundy said they hope to get back to work next week.

“We look forward to carrying on, just like we always have, as soon as we have a parking lot to park people in,” Vangundy said.

As of right now, July 4 is the goal to reopen the Boatel. They still have a full lineup of bands scheduled to play on the patio for the rest of summer.

Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat is a MultiMedia Journalist for WGEM News.

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