Restaurant open for business once again

When the raging waters of Loyalsock Creek destroyed his restaurant in September 2011, Brad Russell wasn’t sure if he would be able to rebuild the business he’d built along Route 87.

He had other things to worry about, like the home he’d lost several miles up the road to the same flood.

But once he finished up what he had to do on the home front, he worked on the business. In February, he was able to reopen Pier 87 Bar & Grill. And so far, he said, the business has done well.

“Every night we have been filling up for dinner,” he said, while sitting in the barroom of the establishment.

The patrons, he said, are coming from all over – Williamsport, Sullivan County, Lock Haven.

With its wood floors, mounted and stuffed wildlife and scenic view of Loyalsock Creek, Pier 87 has the feel of the outdoors about it. Russell described it as more of a lodge look. With plenty of windows affording views of the water, surrounding forests and hills, the outdoors comes right to patrons.

“It is not remotely like it used to be,” he said.

The wrap-around porch was empty on this chilly, overcast February day, but Russell plans to put it to good use when the weather turns warmer.

There’s also a lower patio fronting the creek where Russell and his business partner, Frank Morrone, plan to have a fire pit and a tiki bar.

“We salvaged a lot of things from the old place,” he said.

Basically, the restaurant is divided between the spacious dining room and barroom areas and seats about 95 people.

Russell said he is excited that he has been able to resurrect his business. He and Morrone bought the business, formerly known as New Shore Acres, at a sheriff’s auction. They finally opened it for the first time in April 2011, and patrons flocked to it. But several months later, the dream, all the hard work, the booming good times, were washed away in the flood.

Now, like a Phoenix risen from the ashes, the business is more than alive and well.

“It’s a relief,” Russell said. “It’s been like one-and-a-half years of a lot of work.”

The flooding, he said, wiped out about 2,200 square feet. Gone were the dining room, parts of the barroom and kitchen.

“Half of the place carried downstream,” he recalled.

Russell said many of his former employees are back. So far, the restaurant has catered to a lot of groups. A number of wedding parties have been booked.

“We don’t accept reservations of less than eight people,” he said.

The restaurant is open six days a week for lunches and dinners. He said it will remain closed on Sundays, at least until he is able to get a liquor license for that day.