A Semi Truck Floated Into Lucky's Pub During Harvey Flooding

Lucky's Pub in the Heights.
Lucky's Pub in the Heights. Photo by Marcus de Guzman
It's sad news for Lucky's Pub, which was set to reopen as White Oak Biergarten on August 26. The building, located at 2520 Houston Avenue, flooded up to the second story during Harvey on Saturday night with 12 feet of water. And by early Sunday morning a semi truck had floated into the front of the building.  

You can hide your face, semi, but we still see you.
Photo by Marcus de Guzman
Despite the damage, you won't find a bad attitude coming from co-owner Travis Adair, who tells the Houston Press that he spent a better portion of Tuesday riding around with the Cajun Navy, aiding in rescues. "Being out there, seeing that... I know this restaurant is our livelihood and we have a lot riding on it, but there are a lot of people in worse condition and frankly, seeing the bigger picture, it's not going to do anyone any good to do any pouting."

Adair, who says that the water was also high enough for picnic tables they'd chained together on high ground to just up and leave, hopes that restaurant can be back up and running in 30 to 40 days, or at least during football season. "Our contractor is already out there today.  But it depends on insurance too. If we have to front a lot of it, the cost will be too much."

Right now the restaurant is looking at a major gutting, starting with the removal of six inches of mud. It must be stripped to its skeleton and "pretty much everything has to be replaced." That includes the air conditioning and duct work, the kitchen ceiling and the eatery's siding.  Some kitchen equipment, Adair said, was currently sitting in trees along the property.

click to enlarge
Flooding and semi at Lucky's Pub during Harvey
Photo by Marcus de Guzman
Lucky's Pub, which also flooded twice in 2016,  had planned to reopen as White Oak Biergarten on the Saturday Harvey's rains began, along with an anticipated new barbecue outpost, Buck's BBQ, from pit master and U.S. Army vet, Jim Buchanan, formerly of Pappa Charlie’s Barbecue. Obviously those plans have been delayed a bit.

"Yeah, it's our third time flooding, so it's kind of a pain, but we're also kind of used to it, " Adair says, noting that nobody was in the building when flooding began. "Basically we've been in the last stages of our remodel and were dark anyway. We'd wanted to open that day, but wanted to be safe as possible."

Now, Adair is trying to find roles for 15 displaced employees at his other restaurants. "We're thinking about how we can get them paid and that sort of thing."

You can support them yourself at Lucky’s Downtown, where yesterday Buck’s BBQ offered free meals to first responders, as well as at Lucky’s West in Katy, cocktail lounge Lucky's Lodge downtown and Frio Grill out in Cypress. All are now open.
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Gwendolyn Knapp is the food editor at the Houston Press. A sixth-generation Floridian, she is still torn as to whether she likes smoked fish dip or queso better.