"This could not have happened at a worse time": Peterborough restaurant and theater damaged by burst pipe

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/7/2020 5:50:07 PM

Cooper’s Hill Public House, the Peterborough Community Theatre, and Peterborough CoWork are under repair after a hot water heater failed on the second floor of 6 School Street, their shared building, early Monday morning. Building owner Susie Hunter and tenants only discovered the failure when the leak triggered the building alarm at 4 a.m, she said, and since then a remediation company has been working to minimize damage and rebuild.

 “This could not have happened at a worse time,” Hunter said, with the restaurant and theater already struggling due to shutdowns and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cooper’s Hill will be closed for several weeks to deal with extensive water damage in the dining room, kitchen, and men’s bathroom, owner Cassandra Sullivan said, and she and co-owner Kyle Sullivan are yet to determine whether they can save the restaurant’s reclaimed red and white oak floor. “There’s probably not going to be a September for us,” she said, after spending so much time over the past couple months rehiring employees and training everyone on new COVID-19 protocols, first opening for indoor dining in mid-July. The restaurant had 24 employees before the pandemic and had been operating with nine mostly full-timers, Sullivan said. “If there’s a bright side, I would rather this happen right now during a pandemic than a normal year of sales,” she said. “If I’m going to lose money, I’d rather it be 40 percent of normal rather than 100 percent.” The repairs also provide an opportunity to renovate, Sullivan said, and that she relishes the opportunity to replace “some really hideous tiles” in the men’s room and organize some areas more efficiently with the experience she and Kyle gained over the past three years in the space. Sullivan said she was grateful to read the condolences on the restaurant’s Facebook page and encourages community members to send positive vibes their way.

“We are hobbling along,” Peterborough Community Theatre owner Vanessa Amsbury-Bonilla said. “It’s not optimal… but it’s been manageable.” The theater managed to honor the theater rentals scheduled for the week immediately following the water damage, but will suspend reservations for several weeks due to the noise interference from demolition in other parts of the building, and repairs they’ll have to make in the projection room, she said.

There have been several office space tenants throughout the summer in the CoWork offices, Hunter said, and all have been cooperative following last week’s spill. The building was insured and each individual business has insurance as well, Hunter said, which eases the burdenl. “It’s just really a hassle,” she said. Hunter expressed gratitude for the community support they’ve all received during the week.




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