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Then and now

Customers remain loyal despite moves, name changes

September 19, 2009
By Erin E. O’Neill,

The floods of September 2004 and January 2005 will not soon be forgotten by Marietta residents or business owners.

But lessons were learned in the process so that, if such an event were to ever impact the area again, the effects wouldn't be so catastrophic.

"We got a lot of experience from the first flood (in September), so we were a little more prepared for the second one (in January)," said restaurateur Nick Pugliese, owner of Tiber Way Grille.

Pugliese's former business, Loose Ties Cafe, was located in the 200 block of Second Street when the floods hit. It was a blow that prompted Pugliese and co-owner Angie Kerr to rethink things.

Eventually, Loose Ties moved to Reno.

"After the floods, there was just no business downtown. There were a lot of factors, but we made the decision to move to Reno because it didn't flood there and Reno didn't have a restaurant," Pugliese said.

Fact Box

Relocated businesses

Then: Loose Ties Cafe, 219 Second St., Marietta.

Now: Tiber Way Grille, 10 Tiber Way, Marietta.

Then: All-Pro Nutrition, 246 Front (prior to fires in 2004).

Now: All-Pro Nutrition, 286 Front (during 2004 floods).

Then: Guyz and Galz and Charles Hairdressers, 284 Front St., Marietta.

Now: 123 Third St., Marietta.

Pugliese was just one of many business owners caught off-guard during the September 2004 flood when the National Weather Service at first said the Ohio River would rise above flood stage, then revised that statement and said there would be no flood. The next day the Ohio River rose at a record pace and stopped nearly 10 feet above flood stage at 44.97 feet.

"We had trucks and our stuff was ready to move the night before, but they called it off. So we all just had a couple beers and had fun," Pugliese said.

He received a phone call the next day that his business was under water - approximately three feet of dirty, mucky river water.

Much of the equipment had to be replaced at the establishment, the floors needed recovered and drywall needed replaced, according to Pugliese.

The move to Reno didn't prove fruitful once construction on Ohio 7 started and Pugliese and Kerr decided to try their luck in downtown Marietta once again.

"It was a gamble," Pugliese said of the decision to move to Tiber Way. "But downtown is still the nucleus. We're doing okay."

It was another catastrophe in 2004 that forced All-Pro Nutrition to move from 286 Front St. to 246 Front St., but the fires that burned two Front Street buildings were just a prelude to the flooding.

Owner Rob Gilliand said that he, like others, learned a lot from that fateful day in September 2004.

"We know we're in the flood zone. We know to monitor the river," he said. "We can take our entire store in four-and-a-half hours and reduce it to a shell."

Gilliand credits other merchants and many in the community for his decision to stay right where he is.

"We thought about moving but we really like it where we are," he said.

A long-time Front Street business, Charles Hairdressers, along with its companion boutique, Guyz and Galz, relocated in March 2005 and co-owner Mark Binegar couldn't be happier with the new location.

"We have a parking lot, a lot more room, and we're more contemporary, so this is better than the old building we were in," he said.

Binegar said the new location at 123 1/2 Third St., is more flood-proof and has no basement, something that plagued the old location.

"Every time we had high water, the basement flooded and we just got tired of dealing with it," he said.

The second flood, in January 2005, was the final straw.

Binegar and his partners Chad Clark and Bill Reeder made the decision to combine the stores, pick up and move.

"We love it here," Binegar said.



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