Mudslide Destroys Olympia BBQ

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2007/12/05 09:26:19 (permalink)

Mudslide Destroys Olympia BBQ

Sad story here, from this Week's storms:
Mudslide destroys popular Ranch House BBQ eatery

Christian Hill
The Olympian

"I just lost my whole life," said Amy Anderson, standing on sodden property where her restaurant stood until Monday.
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A mudslide destroyed Ranch House BBQ, located off state Route 8 near Summit Lake, washing away more than bricks and mortar, but also a dream briefly captured by Anderson and her business partner, Melanie Tapia.

No one was injured. Standing water and debris prompted the Washington State Patrol to close the section of state Route 8 indefinitely.

Anderson was an award-winning pitmaster, and Tapia had started a catering business in Everett. They met during a barbecue competition.

Four years ago, they decided to borrow $20,000 against their credit cards to open the restaurant at 10841 Kennedy Creek Road S.W.

It was a huge risk, but one that paid off. The restaurant earned $1,700 its first day; customers had eaten everything the restaurant cooked.

The success enabled the women to open a second take-out location in downtown Olympia known as Ranch House BBQ Xpress. They also had a catering business.

"We own three businesses, all of which I lost in one day," Tapia said.

Ranch House BBQ Xpress, which is not a full-service restaurant, could reopen today or Wednesday, Tapia said. Neither the main restaurant nor catering will resume any time soon, she said.

Tapia estimated the damage at $1 million, but she said she was told her insurance policy didn't cover flooding. Gov. Chris Gregoire declared a state of emergency Monday, and Tapia said she'll check to see if financial assistance might be available.

"It's not looking good for the time being," she said.

Around 10:30 a.m., Tapia said she heard a sound like a "clap of thunder."

"From the top of my property down, a whole mud wall came down," she says.

Saddest thing is the insurance probably not covering mudslides. (Who takes out Mudslide insurance?)

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