Non-profit cafe closed for three weeks after severe water damage

Non-profit cafe closed for three weeks after severe water damage

NORTH BEND, Ore.-- A non-profit cafe that caters to lower income residents and seniors on the South Coast is closed until further notice.

Crossroads Cafe in North Bend had to halt business for at least four weeks beginning last Monday after a hot water heater broke open and damaged hundreds of pounds of food and the room it is stored in.

"I knew something was wrong when I walked in and saw the water dripping down the lights," said Ethel German, cafe co-founder.

German came to the cafe last Sunday to layout Monday afternoon's meal when she discovered water dripping out of the cafe's dining room light fixutres.

"I opened the door, and it was like a sauna," German said.

The hot water heater in the apartment above the cafe broke open last weekend, and the room was instantly filled with steam, she said.

"The cans had already been exposed to so much heat and water that by the time I got there to lay out tomorrow's food, the cans began to rust," German said.

The cafe estimates 18 hundred dollars in food had to be thrown out either because it was wet from the water or was in the cans that began to rust.

"We refuse to serve food that isn't safe," German said. "The food in the rusty cans may still be good, but we aren't comfortable possibly exposing our customers to food from contaminated cans."

The cafe does have insurance, but it isn't just food that is needing to be replaced. There is some concern that mold may grow in the store room walls that got wet from the incident.

Crossroads does have insurance, but repairs to the walls and ceiling will take three more weeks. The cafe's owner tells KCBY Thursday that they hoped they would only be closed for one week, but it will take longer to make repairs. She says the cafe is not closed permanently, and will re-open as soon as possible.