As demolition at Booty’s continued, the hints of a fire in the building 100 years ago revealed themselves in the form of row after row of charred rafters!
The roof! The roof! The roof is on fire!
All of this talk of fire in what was becoming our restaurant’s kitchen had us feeling a little hot under the collar. Little did we know that just around the corner was an epic summer storm that was about to transform our little piece of the Bywater into Lake Booty’s.
We had specifically sought out Bywater to build Booty’s in because the neighborhood had been almost entirely unaffected by the previous big hurricanes to roll through New Orleans. Kevin had lost everything he owned in the world – house, car, all earthly possessions – after Katrina buried his home under close to 9 feet of water just a few years ago. So when we returned to Nola, higher ground was non-negotiable for us.
But a particularly heavy rainfall coupled with – let’s call a spade a spade here – an incredibly incompetent city work crew that spent half the summer tearing apart our street (think weekly geysers of water shooting into the sky every 20 feet down two blocks of Dauphine) left close to 3 feet of water lapping at our doorstep that afternoon.
Satsuma Cafe, just a few doors down Dauphine, was similarly lucky in that the water came up juuuuuust to the front door, but the Old Bywater Bar-B-Que and the Bargain Center had waves rolling inside their doors at one point.
Lake Booty’s would return twice more that summer before the road work was completed, but never in quite as grand of a manner as that first morning.