POSTED: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 5:00pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 8:38pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — Dozens of customers flock to Val's Marina on Tuesdays for their white beans and fried fish, but it’s a staple missing in their lives since Hurricane Isaac.
"We've been thinking about it for a long time. We haven't had it since they've been closed for the hurricane," loyal customer Bobby Marchand shared.
The restaurant was forced to close its doors after flood waters ruined the inside of the restaurant.
"You know we had 5 feet in the back and almost 4 feet in the front, it went over our tabletops. We lost everything," explained Anthony Gregoire, manager at Val’s.
Losing everything to Hurricane Isaac and then again to heavy rains in the first months of 2013, had left the community with a big hole.
"You couldn't go to Wal Mart and people would ask you, 'when is Val’s Marina going to open back up?' and that's the most exciting thing, and having those people getting back in here is great. And a lot of people were unemployed for seven months," Gregoire said.
Tuesday, for the first time since august, the restaurant was able to open its doors again to some of its most loyal customers.
"I used to come here as a little boy with my parents and we came every Friday night, always we'd come to Val's. We missed it. We missed it a lot."
And though Val's Marina is one of just a few restaurants here in the Maurepas community, customers say it's more than just a place to sit down and eat.
"This is a landmark that's here too so whatever happens at the school usually carries on this way. We missed it for basketball season, and baseball season is halfway through," added Gregoire.
Many customers worry it could flood again, but for now they're just ready to dig in to their old favorites again.
"We came right after the hurricane and I think the water was as high as the bar. It was horrible because it's just a place on Friday nights where everybody comes and its one big family. If you think of Maurepas you think of Val's Marina," Mike Gaureau, another longtime customer, said.
Val’s Marina has been a part of the Maurepas community since 1959.