Chef Susan Spicer works to repair flood-damaged Lakeview restaurant Mondo

NEW ORLEANS - Crews are working to dry out and repair chef and restaurateur Susan Spicer’s restaurant Mondo after the Lakeview eatery flooded for the first time in its seven year history.

“Mondo received about four to five inches inside the restaurant, in the bar, the dining room, as well as the kitchen,” Spicer said. “Fortunately, it didn’t come up as high as the kitchen equipment, so we didn’t lose anything there.”

The restaurant’s carpeting and baseboards were all inundated and had to be removed, but the furniture was relatively unscathed thanks to the quick-thinking staff picking everything up off of the floor as soon as the water started rising around 4:30 p.m. on August 5, Spicer said.

“The puzzling thing is that the rain stopped by about 4:45, but the water continued to rise, and rise, and rise,” she said. “We thought it would start receding, but it didn’t. It rose after the rain stopped.”

Spicer said Harrison Avenue and the side streets connecting to it sometimes get a little water, and the staff is prepared for floodwater to come in the back door occasionally.

“We have sandbags,” she said. “Evidently not enough.”

Closing down on a Saturday night caused the popular restaurant to miss out on a “fair amount of business,” Spicer said.

“I had my full staff here, we had been preparing food all day, and we were ready for a busy Saturday night,” she said. “Now, today is Monday, we’re usually open lunch and dinner. I’m hoping that I can get it back open by Tuesday night, maybe.”

The lingering question in Spicer’s mind is why did this happen.

“As a business owner, I’m questioning why that happened when it hasn’t happened before and we spent all this money on flood protection in recent years,” she said. “As a resident of New Orleans, I’m concerned about the flooding in different parts of the city that have been flooded before.”

The frequency of the flooding is also concerning.

“Even though they say this is a one in 10 year event, I don’t necessarily think that’s true,” she said. “I haven’t seen this kind of thing happening outside of hurricane situations.”