Customers welcome restaurants’ return in Jupiter
JUPITER — Cabin fever was cured on State Road A1A in Jupiter as several restaurants Tuesday opened after being shut down for the weekend by Hurricane Irma.
“Out on the road, the gas is expensive. In here, the drinks and food are halfpriced. This is the place to be,” said Jupiter resident Wade Gamache, 28, a cook.
Gamache and his pal, David Specian, of Jupiter, were enjoying the half-off prices Tuesday at Guanabanas restaurant.
The colorful Adirondack chairs were back in place and musicians were getting ready to play at the restaurant along the Loxahatchee River.
“We had some minor damage to our palm trees, but nothing major,” said Chad Van Boven, owner of the restaurant. Chairs, umbrellas and other equipment were placed inside buildings and a watertight tractor-trailer-sized container during the storm, he said.
At the Square Grouper on the other side of A1A on the Jupiter Inlet, tree cutting crews were busy trimming branches above the entrance of the restaurant and bar. Workers were sweeping up palm fronds, fixing fans and repairing minor plumbing damage.
Pointing across the inlet to the brownish plants around the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, owner Jimmy Burg said nature wouldn’t take long to repair itself.
“By Thanksgiving, it’ll all be green again. You won’t be able to tell anything happened,” said Burg.
Customers were crowded at the tables along the inlet at the Square Grouper, overlooking the fishing boats unloading and loading at the dock under mostly clear skies.
Those were the surroundings that brought Nick and Sheri Kelleher to the Square Grouper on Tuesday afternoon. They spent the weekend in their Port Salerno home glued to the weather station.
“I couldn’t stand it anymore. I had to get out and remember why we moved here to Florida,” said Sheri, a native of Tucson, Ariz.
While other restaurants, such as Schooners, were open, others were still making repairs.
The Burger Shack at Lighthouse Cove Mini-Golf isn’t expected to open until today. Mini-golf was to open late Tuesday afternoon, said owner Greg Bartoli.
“We hauled out about 10 truckloads of debris. We still have a little work to do,” Bartoli said.
Guanabanas bartender Matt Balachandran prepares a mixed drink during restaurant’s hurricane reopening bash Tuesday. While many restaurants in Jupiter were open, others were still making repairs.