After a week and a half of the new Woody’s Tacos downtown being open, a sewage line burst, forcing owner Scott “Woody” Holzinger to close for an indefinite amount of time while he seeks repairs.
The bill is estimated to be $40,000 to $50,000, and Holzinger said he’s unsure how he’ll pay it. But he expects to reopen eventually at that location, 809 Washington St.
“I’m really bummed right now,” he said Wednesday afternoon. “A week and a half of business. All the money I dumped into this, it would be horrible walking away.”
Holzinger first noticed a plumbing issue Friday night. Water began seeping up through the floor drains, causing him to shut down the restaurant. On Sunday, a plumber came to inspect the situation, and the water seemed to be draining again, he said.
“Looked like it relieved itself,” he said.
On Monday, Woody’s reopened. But once nighttime came, the flooding started again. This time it was much worse.
“Gallons and gallons,” he said. “It spread throughout the place.”
Holzinger said the plumber he hired used a camera to inspect the drainage pipe. He suspects an old terra cotta pipe below Washington Street burst. The old building housing the restaurant has been there for decades. Before the pandemic, it housed a restaurant named Low Bar.
All day Wednesday, Holzinger mopped, cleaned and sanitized the building, and it looks new again. But he can’t run anything down the drain, he said.
Holzinger said he doesn’t expect his landlord to pay for the repairs, but he plans to ask the city for help.
“Usually it’s the tenant’s responsibility for sewer lines,” he said. “I don’t expect the landlord to do anything. I hope the city will do something. Those pipes are ones that Vancouver put in. Cars have been running over them for years.
“Luckily, the Mill Plain store is doing good,” he said. “I didn’t lose any food because I was able to take everything from downtown to there.” His other location is at 7900 E. Mill Plain Blvd., in The Mill shopping center.
“We’ll be back,” he said. “This is going to be a little bit of a chore and a scheduling constraint. I’m crushed.”