Kuchie’s on the Water surviving despite pandemic, flooding; providing hope through creative drinks, food

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CREVE COEUR, Ill. (WMBD) — The Illinois River flooding is causing issues for a popular riverside bar and restaurant.

Kuchie’s on the Water in Creve Coeur is well-known for its food, location, and creative drinks.

But once the COVID-19 crisis hit, they had to change over from a sit-down destination restaurant to completely curbside and takeout.

On top of that, the restaurant won’t be able to open up outdoor dining this weekend due to flooding.

“We’re trying to figure out how to do dine-in and curbside at the same time. We’re gonna wait for the safety of my guests as well as my crew. I know how hard it will be to work this deck,” said General Manager Jan Little.

Little says to be able to maintain social distancing, the restaurant will have to go down to less than 1/3 of capacity.

She says the best way to keep up with specials and updates is on their Facebook page found here.

“The food photographs really well. Like I said, we’re about presentation and making food look good and drinks look good, when you get them. It’s been a lot of fun actually, that side of it. Not the reason behind it, but the being able to be a little more creative, coming up with fun drinks, that’s what I love to do,” Little said.

Little says although her restaurant is used to closing down quickly due to the decently frequent flooding they see, this has been a huge challenge.

“I’ll be honest the first couple weeks we closed down, it was a sudden, hard stop. I think we were better prepared than a lot of restaurants because we’ve had to do it a lot of times since we’ve been here,” Little said. “I think this is our sixth or seventh flood since we’ve been here.”

Little says changing the business model has been a huge accomplishment.

“We pride ourselves in the appearance of our food, the presentation of our food. To change to a carryout, curbside-only; putting things in boxes and bags, it’s a totally different way of doing things,” Little said.

Little says the river has to go back down so they can do cleanup and get the parking lot ready for customers. She doesn’t anticipate that to happen for a few weeks.

The drink special making a lot of noise right now is the rainbow margarita mix.

Kuchie’s on the Water is located at 579 Wesley Rd, Creve Coeur, IL 61610

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