Extensive flooding shuts down popular Bel Cibo


Karlie Brady


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Bel Cibo is now a construction site as builders begin to repair the damages. Image: Karlie Brady.

The owners of popular Port Douglas restaurant, Bel Cibo, have been left devastated after extensive water damage has forced them to shut their doors for an indefinite period.

Chef and owner, Andy Gray, said the Italian restaurant was flooded last week as a result of a leaking tap from an above apartment.

“No one was around so my ceiling filled up and water started filling up the restaurant,” he said.

“I got a phone call on Monday morning saying there was water flowing out the front of the restaurant and over the balcony because of the volume of the water on the floor.”

Mr Gray said he is currently working with his insurance and the building’s body corporate. He is estimating the damage to be anywhere from $800,000 to $1 million.

“The damage is massive. It has ruined the ceiling, all the electronics, the floor, walls, and the cool-rooms.

“We have completely emptied the restaurant and the builders are now pulling down the ceiling.

“Once that’s finished, they can fully assess what needs to be done and see how much structural damage there is,” said Mr Gray.

The closure is a real blow to the business which recently celebrated its 10th birthday.

“We had a great Christmas, we’ve been pretty busy, we have a great team of staff and things were going well. We are now in limbo.

“Our plan is to reopen as soon as possible once the damage is complete, but the time frame is unknown as we are unsure of the extent of the damage,” he said.

Mr Gray said the support from the community since announcing its closure on Friday has been incredible.

“The support from everyone is massive. People are messaging and calling. I appreciate the kind words,” said Mr Gray.

Meanwhile, popular Mossman Restaurant Mojos Bar and Grill closed its doors last month.

In a statement on their Facebook page, the restaurant said due to commitments, they regretfully had to make the tough decision to close their doors.

“While it is always difficult to see a long-running and reputable business close in our community, we have great confidence that this gem of a restaurant will soon find a suitable occupant and would like to ask that the community please help spread the word to potential tenants,” the statement said.

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