Flooded Sidford restaurant to re-open for Valentine’s

Annette and Andy Witheridge, owners of the Salty Monk in Sidfrod, which is reopening next week after

Annette and Andy Witheridge, owners of the Salty Monk in Sidfrod, which is reopening next week after flood damage forced them to close. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 3167-40-12AW. - Credit: Archant

The owners of a Sidford restaurant which has been shut for six weeks after flooding in the village say it has been a ‘nightmare’ getting their business back open.

Annette and Andy Witheridge have had to rip up floors, strip back walls and replace carpets after the Salty Monk was damaged in the extreme weather in November 2011.

But Annette said the award-winning fish restaurant will be back open for Valentine’s Day, adding the couple have used the enforced closure as an opportunity to renovate the property.

“At least some good has come out of the bad,” she added, revealing they are turning what was previously the lunge into a brasserie.

Water poured through the front door of the Salty Monk during the flooding as the River Sid burst its banks, and came up through the drain in the kitchen.

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Annette said they have had to remove most of the floors and take off the plaster from the walls, but waiting for the building to dry has held up their plans to re-open.

“And there’s nothing you can do about that, but because of that its taken longer than we had planned, it’s been an absolute nightmare,” she said.

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“We pulled up the floor under the toilets and water was pooling, even though we have had the dehumidifier on since November 24.”

The owners say they have put measures in place to protect themselves against flooding, but if the same amount of rain hits Sidford as back in November they admit the restaurant may be in danger again.

“We’ve been here 13 years and never had a problem, and then we’re flooded twice in four months!”

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