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Charlotte restaurants closed early, destroyed tainted ice, lost sales after water incident

·3 min read

A Charlotte Water main break Monday night that led to service disruptions in 16 ZIP codes and a boil order recommendation could have spelled disaster for Charlotte restaurants. But as they geared up Tuesday for the day’s lunch rush, few reported any problems. Other businesses, however, were still troubled.

At The Vintage Whiskey and Cigar Bar in South End, general manager Ben Torres said the team called a plumber Monday when water problems started.

“There wasn’t a drop in the line,” Torres said.

After learning it was a citywide problem, the bar closed at 6 p.m.

Torres said it cost the business about $3,000 in sales, plus a visit from the commercial plumber to check the lines. The Vintage planned to reopen at noon Tuesday with cigar retail sales only until the water quality is deemed safe to drink.

In the meantime, Torres said they’ll destroy all the ice made overnight from tainted water.

“We’ll outsource ice if we have to, but the goal is to try to maintain normal operations even though it’s going to come at additional costs,” Torres said.

Low water pressure advisory

On Tuesday, Charlotte Water said customers who had experienced low or no water pressure should boil water before drinking it, making ice, brushing teeth or washing dishes.

The low water pressure advisory will remain until Wednesday.

Summit Coffee in NoDa was among the businesses that stayed closed Tuesday. A note posted on the door read: “Closed 2 day due to water advisory.” Via Instagram, staff said, “We are grateful for the good folks at @cltwater for repairing the break in the water main so quickly and hope to see you bright and early tomorrow.”

‘We were super busy last night because of it’

Calle Sol Latin Cafe & Cevicheria in Plaza Midwood posted a notice on the door Monday night that it was unable to provide dinner service. By Tuesday, morning, all was back to normal.

Nearby in Plaza Midwood at Moo & Brew, the restaurant actually saw a boost in business because of the water main break. “We were super busy last night because of it — because we actually had water,” bartender James Corwin said Tuesday morning.

Soul Gastrolounge closed Monday night but said via Instagram that it planned to reopen at 8 p.m., noting its service had been restored. On Tuesday the doors opened at 5 p.m., as normal, but with plastic plates and utensils, bottled water and clean ice brought in from elsewhere for drinks, another Instagram post said.

Elsewhere, staff answering the phone at the Gallery Restaurant inside The Ballantyne Hotel and 131 Main Restaurant at Blakeney reported having no trouble.

Near Charlotte Douglas International Airport, where restaurants closed Monday night, things were all well at Carolina Family Restaurant and Mr. G’s.

But other businesses remain closed.

Topgolf University at 9110 Drivers Way in north Charlotte is closed Tuesday, citing the water main break on its website. Topgolf is a 65,000-square-foot multi-level, indoor and outdoor entertainment venue that includes a restaurant and bar.

This article is developing and may be updated.

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