Flood damage temporarily shuts down beloved Nicholas County restaurant

Posted at 6:20 PM, Aug 03, 2021

CARLISLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — Damage from flash flooding in Nicholas County is forcing a community staple to temporarily shut down.

Tracks Restaurant has been serving up homemade food for 20 years in Carlisle.

Owners have come a long way in cleaning up after 18 inches of floodwater shuffled the inside of the restaurant and caused severe damage.

“It was a complete mess. It was nothing but mud. You couldn’t see our black and white tile on our floor. It was just mud,” said owner Amy Bowles.

The Bowles have spent days tearing away the floor of the restaurant and stripping the walls. Several appliances will also need to be replaced.

“We had a lot of water damage. There’s gonna be a lot of extensive repairs for us to get our business opened back up,” Michael Bowles said.

Bowles estimates it could take several weeks to bring in contractors to remodel the inside. In the meantime, Tracks Restaurant will remain closed.

Bowles said the decision was tough, especially since they had only recently started recovering from the hardships and setbacks the pandemic caused when the flood hit.

“It’s the same thing again. We’re shut down and now we got to work to get opened back up,” he said.

“Obviously the bills keep coming, but we’ll make it,” Amy Bowles said. “Seems like everything that you’ve worked so hard for is just kind of at a standstill, but once we get done, it’s gonna be a bigger, better, nicer place for the community to come.”

Tracks Restaurant is one of few restaurants in Carlisle and the only one open at night, according to Bowles.

Kristen Collins, a regular at the diner, said Tracks is well-loved in the community because it’s where people always gather.

“After church, birthday parties, people come here. This is the go-to place to eat,” Collins said. “It’s just heartbreaking.”

The Bowles said people constantly stopped by to offer help in the aftermath of the flood.

“Carlisle is the small town with a big heart. That’s so true,” Amy Bowles said.

The Bowles are now running on prayers and hope for their town, their business, and their employees who will not be able to work while their doors are closed.

“We feel for them right now, but our hands are tied until we can get the business back up,” Michael Bowles said. “The entire town right now just needs a lot of prayers and a lot of help.”

Bowles said the goal is to reopen Tracks Restaurant in September.