Press Club

Ballston Restaurant SER Launches Fundraiser After Flooding

Ballston restaurant SER is hoping a GoFundMe campaign will keep the business afloat after Monday’s devastating floods damaged the locally-owned eatery.

“The water apparently came through faulty drains in the building’s third floor balcony, spread through the third and second floors, and then seeped into every corner at SER,” owner Javier Candon wrote on the GoFundMe page. “We are at a loss about the physical and emotional toll this has taken on us and our entire SER family.”

The Spanish restaurant has so far raised more than $2,500 after launching the campaign Thursday. The current fundraising goal: $65,000.

Candon noted that this is the fourth time SER has flooded since opening in 2015.  Last July the restaurant had to temporarily close when the it partially flooded after the roof collapsed.

Candon told ARLnow he was “weighing his options” on how best to move forward.

“We are all devastated,” he said via email. “We have been closed all week impacting not only our guests and the parties we’ve had to cancel, but our hard working staff. Everything was damaged in the restaurant as water seeped in everywhere… the furniture, our bar, our ceiling tiles, equipment, etc.”

“We want to remain in the building as this feels like home to us and to all our loyal guests,” he said of the numerous issues the restaurant has faced. “We are hoping to continue to work closely with the landlord to resolve the water issues in the building… The safety of our staff and our guests is paramount to us and we are hoping the landlord will resolve the water issues in the building once and for all.”

Candon said he is filing insurance claims but there’s uncertainty about what will be paid and when. In the meantime, SER is facing mounting costs and will use the GoFundMe proceeds to “to get the restaurant open ASAP.”

“Unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury to wait for the claims to begin reconstruction,” he said.

Two and a half days after Monday’s storm dumped over three inches of rain across the region in an hour, Arlington County declared a state of emergency. Since then, at least 200 affected residents and 15 business owners have filed claims for aid with the county, reported ABC 7.

The county’s emergency declaration opens up the possibility of state and federal aid, but the declaration still needs to be finalized by the Arlington County Board — and even if approved by state and federal authorities it’s not clear what would would qualify for aid and how much.

SER isn’t the only business raising money online for post-storm recovery.

A resident raising money for flooded Westover stores blew past a $25,000 fundraising goal in less than a day, stretching the goal to $100,000 to help cover the damage caused and merchandise lost when flood waters filled basements and knocked out power.

As of 11 a.m. this morning, the Westover GoFundMe campaign raised about $55,000 to support the damaged shops.

Video via GoFundMe

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