Spirit of St. Louis – Pick Your Charity, Pick Your Car

Eureka shop owners grateful to reopen after week’s loss of business

EUREKA, MO (KTVI) – They won the fight against the floods, but they lost out on a week’s worth of business.

Still, shops in Eureka are grateful – and optimistic – about what’s ahead of them.

It’s been a week full of sandbags and stress for Joe Boccardi’s co-owner Mario Boccardi.

“Monday morning I got here and I did not leave until Wednesday night. So I spent the night here two nights in a row,” Boccardi said.

The popular restaurant was spared from flooding, thanks to the help of hundreds of volunteers who helped build a sandbag wall.

“Customers. I had so many customers – regulars that stopped by, to help out. They didn’t want to see the place get washed away again. And it all worked,” he said.

A few days loss of work is nothing compared to what the restaurant went through in 2015. It remained closed for nearly three months. Six days is small in the grand scheme of things, Boccardi said.

Across the street, the co-owner of Sarah’s Cakes on Central expressed the same gratitude.

“It’s a far cry from what could have been,” Tim Umbarger said.

Umbarger said nearly seven feet of water stood in front of his business.

“It was probably a little bit deeper down the block,” he said.

Sarah’s Cakes on Central closed last Saturday and will re-open Monday.

The return to normal has provided him with a bit of perspective.

“We’ve lived here in Eureka for 14 years. And we’ve had numerous people ask after this, ‘Are you doubting your business decision to have a location here?’ Absolutely not. This only reinforces what a great community this is. We support each other. It’s just very overwhelming and emotional for me,” he said.