Flooded Eatery Reopening Soon, Fundraisers Help Annapolis Business Recover
ANNAPOLIS, MD - A flooded Annapolis eatery set its target reopening date weeks after a historic storm surge swamped several downtown businesses.
The city has rallied around Pip's Dock Street Dogs, a hot dog shop located steps from Ego Alley. Fellow business leaders have organized several fundraisers for the temporarily closed restaurant.
Pip's hopes to reopen on Feb. 3, but that date isn't finalized. The eatery still needs to pass a health inspection.
"We can't wait to get reopened, myself and my guys, so we can start pumping out chili dogs and cheesesteaks for everybody," Pip's Owner Ryan Lamy told Patch on Friday. "We're chomping at the bit, ready to go."
'Light In The Pocketbook' During Repairs
The third-worst flood on record rolled into Annapolis on Jan. 9 and 10. The 5.1-foot storm surge was the worst since Hurricane Isabel dumped a record 7.16 feet in 2003. This month's flood temporarily closed 17 Annapolis businesses, including Pip's.
About 2.5 feet of water flooded Pip's, which has been open for 15 years. Lamy said half his kitchen equipment was destroyed. The fryer, sandwich stations and ice machine were all lost in the flood.
The replacements are scheduled to arrive within a week. Clean-up crews scrubbed the restaurant top-to-bottom on Thursday.
The equipment replacements and the clean-up cost nearly $8,000, Lamy said.
Pip's and other flooded businesses are eligible for up to $50,000 each in relief grants. Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley (D) declared a state of emergency on Jan. 12 to unlock the funding.
This money will help repair property damage, replace equipment and cover lost income.
Lamy plans to apply for the grant once he tallies his lost revenue, which he prefers not to disclose.
"It's a little tough right now, a little light in the pocketbook," Lamy said. "Once we get that check, then everything will be fine."
Fundraisers Are 'The Least We Can Do'
The city's restaurant community has stepped up to help Lamy through the challenge.
Boatyard Bar & Grill and the Annapolis Market House are both fundraising for Pip's.
Justin Pacheco, a Boatyard bartender, has raised more than $1,400 for Pip's since launching a GoFundMe on Jan. 12.
"I just love hot dogs and cheesesteaks," the Eastport native said. "I've been going there as long as they've been around."
Pacheco said the Annapolis service industry bands together during crises.
He cited the Sailor Oyster Bar fire in 2022, the Chris's Charcoal Pit tornado in 2021 and the Annapolis Yacht Club fire in 2015 as disasters that united food workers. This month's flooding downtown is no different.
"It's important to have a community, help each other out, serve each other, and also return the favor," Pacheco said. "It's a small town. Everybody knows everybody. It's the least we can do."
The GoFundMe by Annapolis Market House had collected $785 as of the time this story was written.
The Market House also held a fundraiser last Saturday, donating $1 from each specialty beer sale to Pip's.
Joe Lyon, a managing partner at the Market House, said he's just helping a friend who would do the same for him.
"Any day he's closed, he's got all this money going out, but nothing's coming back in," Lyon said. "It's like you're bleeding money."
Lamy has faced a few other challenges along the way.
An unknown person shattered Pip's front window Thursday night.
Pip's freezer also just broke, Lyon said, so Market House is storing some of Lamy's frozen food in the meantime.
"We all try and help each other out," Lyon said of his downtown neighbors. "It's tough to navigate, and you don't have a plan for stuff when this stuff happens."
Lamy said the support has been overwhelming and touching.
"It's greatly appreciated. I didn't expect anything like that, so I've thanked those guys immensely," Lamy said. "People give a damn, and it's nice."
Customers can follow Pip's on Facebook for more reopening updates.
Check this recap to see all of Patch's flood coverage.
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