KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – As the shops inside North Cedar Bluff Plaza reopen one by one, a loyal customer is making sure one is not forgotten.
As historic flooding swept through East Tennessee starting February 23, businesses small and large were forced to close their doors.
“I came in here Friday night to get a takeout order. You know sometimes we eat here, sometimes we take it home. And there was nobody here, no customers,” said loyal Lotus Garden patron, Glenn Palmer. “And next door was full.”
That place next door is Mexico Lindo, another family-owned restaurant tucked away in the plaza that houses nearly a dozen businesses.
“They struggled so hard. They had water two feet up on the walls,” said Palmer. “They had to clean all the tables all the chairs, refinish everything themselves. All the money came out of their own pocket.”
Roughly $10,000 out of pocket because, like many other businesses, their insurance did not cover it.
Closing for nearly seven weeks meant no paychecks too.
“Everything thrown away and the food, everything lost,” said owner Kam Ho.
Lotus Garden reopened April 10 but no one seemed to know yet, and that bothered Glenn Palmer a great deal.
“I just know how great the food is and I know how great the people are, the people are better than the food,” Palmer said. “The food is fabulous, we don’t eat anywhere else.”
Lotus Garden is a small family-owned business. Kam Ho and his wife moved to Knoxville 20 years ago from Malaysia and together they opened the restaurant just 16 months ago.
“I just think it’s important for us that live in the communities that were affected by the floods to help give back something to the people who suffered,” Palmer says.
For more information about Lotus Garden or to check out the hours, click here.