Businesses worry odor left behind by storm will keep customers away

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Anne Bonny's Bar and Grill
Anne Bonny's did not have to deal with too much damage from the storm. (Photo: Basil John/WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Some parts of downtown Wilmington were hit hard during Florence, making it hard for some businesses to re-open while others got right back into it. Florence has come and gone, but businesses in downtown continue on despite damage from the storm.

Anne Bonny’s Bar and Grill did not have to deal with flooding or other storm damage but has to deal with a harsh smell from the Cape Fear River. Owners say it’s tough to see some other businesses struggling after the storm, and it’s now important for people to know that some businesses are open and ready.

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“The idea of coming down with the potential flooding is something that has kind of kept people away from downtown for the last week. So we’ve, of course, tried to get the word out and advertise and let people know that we’re here. We’re here for football. We’re here for lunch and dinner seven days a week right now and would love to just spread the word and give people another food option since that’s been kind of limited in the last couple weeks in Wilmington,” Anne Bonny’s owner Madison Vithalani said.

Businesses like Poodle’s Island Wear took on 40 gallons of water from the storm, but are trying to open up as soon as possible.

“The river didn’t get up that high, but we think that it mostly came in through the walkway here and seeped up under our door, because that’s the most water we’ve ever taken in,” Poodle’s Island Wear owner Poodle Lockhart said.



They say it will take some time before things are back to normal for most businesses downtown. There are some businesses that had to close because of storm damage and relocate, including Fuzz Love. But businesses still downtown hope more people come out this weekend to bounce back from the storm.