A TAKEAWAY in York city centre which was badly flooded in September has finally re-opened after a major refurbishment.
Ali G’s, which sells pizzas, kebabs and burgers, was one of a row of businesses in Tower Street that were inundated when the River Ouse rose to its highest levels in 12 years.
Desperate efforts with pumps and sandbags to prevent floodwater entering the street from Tower Gardens proved in vain.
Owner Angie Kose said yesterday that the front of the takeaway was knee-deep in floodwater, while the lower rear of the premises was hip-deep, ruining kitchen equipment.
She said it had cost her more than £30,000 to replace the equipment, some of which she would recover from her insurers. But her landlord had also faced an additional bill for repairs to the building, including re-plastering.
She said she had also lost two and a half months’ worth of trade, and would now have to win back custom, although she fully expected her loyal customers to return. “People have been ringing up to see when we’re re-opening.”
She said she expected the business would be flooded again at some stage, and so steps had been taken during the rerfubishment to make it more flood resilient. For example, the front of the property had been “tanked” so that when the floodwaters receded, it could quickly be cleaned and disinfected.
The front counter would be on casters so it could be taken out of the building for safe storage elsewhere when flooding threatened. She would also move most of the kitchen equipment to the higher front of the building and store it on breeze blocks to keep it above flood levels.
She supported calls by other business owners in the area for experts to examine ways of providing flood protection.
She said she felt particularly sorry for the owners of homes around the corner, who were particularly vulnerable.