A month after significant flooding ravaged the Valley Center in Mt. Juliet, a few of the businesses are reopened or temporarily relocated, with the majority still in clean-up mode with projected reopening weeks away.
At the height of the storm on March 27-28, Valley Centers’ businesses and a church located there were inundated with water as high as three feet. three feet of water. All of the affected businesses have replaced wall board up to 4 feet from the floor and flooring. Many businesses lost equipment and inventory.
Calabria Brick Oven Pizzeria opened five years ago in Valley Center. Owner Valon Arifi has a video from his inside camera system that shows the restaurant fill up with several feet of water and some of his large kitchen equipment pulled from the floor and floating away.
“We are planning to be reopened mid-May,” said Arifi. “This is our first time being affected by flooding here. There were more than 14 inches of rain in our restaurant.”
Arifi said he lost over $8,000 of food and a lot of the restaurant’s coolers were damaged.
The pizzeria’s dining room was closed for three months during the pandemic, but did offer curbside pickup.
“We are so fortunate to be part of the Mt. Juliet community,” he said. “People have reached out from companies and mom and pops asking what they can do.”
Another popular restaurant in the Valley Center is Memo’s Mexican Kitchen. Owner Memo Murillo said he plans to reopen in June.
“Cleanup is done and a team is coming in and taking care of the metal framing, then we will have the drywall done, framework, painting and everything else,” he said.
Murillo said this is the second year that the restaurant won’t be open for Cinco De Mayo. He and his wife, Katie, are determined to continue to pay their 10 employees throughout this shutdown.
“Good employees are hard to find,” said Katie Murillo. “Our employees are amazing and to pay them through this shutdown is very important to us.”
Several businesses in the Valley Center have temporarily relocated including Hammer and Stain to owner Kathy Stover’s back yard. Revolution Barber & Style, located in the center for 11 years, just last week found a temporary location across the street at Capella’s Salon and Spa.
“We’ve been able to have some parties (in the backyard) and I turned my shed into a studio,” Stover said. “I really have no word on when we can reopen in the center, but I think it’s a least 30 days out.”
Revolution Barber & Style owners Eric and Sam Williams had relocated to Asia Hair Salon, but that business had some flooding as well. The Williamses worked one day there, then, “Their contractor came in and said there was a change of plans and all the walls there needed to be ripped out too.”
Capella’s Hair Salon had a few chairs open.
“We are very blessed they were kind enough to get us all in there,” she said. “We are still not 100 percent sure when we will be back at the (Valley Center), but it’s looking like maybe four weeks.”
Rock Star Academy and Dance has relocated to Generation Changer’s Church and a site in Lebanon until all its repairs are completed.
Valley Center’s Dollar General is closed until further notice. Its Facebook page, “Closed due to Weather.” The corporate message said to seek another nearby store. Planet Fitness has a “closed” sign in its Valley Center window and its message also tells people to seek another Planet Fitness location.
Pastor Mike Cole said New Tribe Church has relocated temporarily to the Mt. Juliet Community Center.
“We will be meeting at the Community Center the next two months,” said Cole. “Our goal is to be back at the Valley Center. Drywall, flooring and painting is next. It’s completely out of our control and we are grateful the city has opened the community center for us.”