Tim’s Rivershore restaurant is back and open for business.
The feat was accomplished by hundreds of volunteers who kept showing up after Hurricane Isabel trashed the popular restaurant on the banks of the Potomac River on Cherry Hill Road.
“The outpouring that the community has given Tim [Bauckman] has been great,” said Linda Daigler, who works at the restaurant and is Bauckman’s mother-in-law.
“I can’t tell you the number of calls we were getting. It was nonstop — from the young crowd to grandmothers,” Daigler said. “They all wanted to help.”
And help they did.
Construction workers showed up with the expertise and the tools needed to do repairs. A man who owned a power-washing company brought the equipment needed to clean the inside of the restaurant. Employees and patrons alike came and lent a hand at whatever needed to be done.
Tim’s Rivershore was a mess Sept. 19, the day after Hurricane Isabel raised the waters of the Potomac River about eight feet.
River water surrounded the outside Tiki bar so that it resembled an island. Crab pots floated in the parking lot, and the area was littered with debris from the restaurant and from the river.?The dock was underwater with only the pilings visible, and a propane tank lay on its side leaking gas.
Bauckman had stayed at the restaurant through most of the hurricane, leaving at 1:30 a.m. when he said he felt the restaurant “looked like a lost cause.”
“When I went to bed that night I didn’t think there was going to be anything to go back to,” Bauckman said.
With the leaking propane tank the following day preventing Bauckman or anyone else from entering the restaurant to check for damage or to start cleaning up, Bauckman said he was able to rest and recharge.
“It was good to take a break,” he said.
That break ended the following day when the propane had all been released and the river had receded enough for Bauckman, his employees and anyone else who showed up to get started with the clean-up.
After getting into the building, they found little damage to the structure.
“That was the wackiest part. There was almost nothing wrong with it,” Bauckman said.
The pipes underneath the structure built partially on pilings were in good shape. The windows were intact and the furnishings remained safely stored in a rental truck across the street from the restaurant.
Bauckman’s employees had taken every precaution they could think of to get anything of value out of the river’s way.
Yet the river had risen more than two feet into the restaurant. When water receded, it left mud and muck everywhere. That’s where the power-washing came in.
“The first couple of days after [the hurricane] we were making three piles, good wood, bad wood and driftwood,” said Amy Riggleman, an employee of Bauckman’s for 20 years.
But there were plenty of volunteers to collect the wood and begin rebuilding the dock and the outdoor decks.
Daigler credits much of the support they received to Bauckman and his willingness to give back to the community.
Waterman Scott Dent agrees.
“He buys fish from the 10 to 12 fishermen here [in the Cherry Hill community] year round,” Dent said.
And Bauckman hasn’t forgotten all those willing hands that made it possible. He plans on drawing a wavy line around the outside of the restaurant showing the high water mark of the storm. Beneath it, he will list the names of all those that helped the restaurant reopen.
Staff writer Aileen Streng can be reached at (703) 878-8010.