Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks, Atlanta

Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks ‘Can’t Win’ Shuts Down Indefinitely After Water Main Burst

The Downtown Atlanta location of Big Dave Cheesesteaks is facing indefinite closure due to the city's massive main water breaks.

The Downtown Atlanta location of Big Dave Cheesesteaks is facing indefinite closure due to the city’s massive water main breaks.

The popular chain restaurant’s owner, Derrick Hayes, took to Instagram on Monday, June 3, to share a transparent video showing the damage to his business due to Atlanta’s recent water main break issues. Hayes, husband to Slutty Vegan Founder Pinky Cole Hayes, walked around his restaurant to reveal the flooding throughout that would prevent him from opening.

“Got a bad call this morning SMFH !!! Water break ruined my Downtown location,” he captioned the post.

“I can’t win for losing,” he tells the camera while walking through his flooded business. “Well, downtown will be closed again today. As you guys know, we’ve been going through a water main break for the last two days. So this location may close.”

Hayes, sporting a t-shirt, shorts, and Timberland boots, shows the water damage throughout the back of his business, which includes his walk-in cooler filled with food.

“My whole restaurant right now is done. Like water everywhere. Walk-in cooler, flooding,” he says in disbelief. “This might be it for this baby. But, you know what though, I ain’t even going to stress myself out over it. I know God got the last say.”

After walking from the back of the business out to the front, where the camera shows puddles of water throughout the establishment, Hayes shared how much money he’s invested into the location and the work it’ll take to restore it.

“I’m going to keep on, you know, my head held high. But this one right here hurt me because I worked my way out of the gas station to get this location,” he continued. “This $700,000 right here you know, down in drain. I mean, I got insurance and all that, but nobody wants to go through that.”

“Small hiccup for a bigger come up,” his wife wrote in the comments.

Hayes has referred to the downtown location of Dave’s Cheesesteaks as his “rocky location” due to the ups and downs it’s experienced with closures. Four years ago, the eatery was forced to close due to protests over the murder of George Floyd, AJC reports.

Amid the water main breaks in Atlanta last week, the restaurant was forced to close on Friday and Saturday, with the expectation of reopening on Sunday. However, Hayes was crushed when his director of operations called to inform him of the flooding brought on by a burst pipe.

On Friday, June 7, with his team working to clean the place and other staff working out of locations in Forest Park, Doraville, and Lawrenceville, the restaurant confirmed that it would remain closed “until further notice.”

The announcement came one day after city officials lifted the boil water advisory that had been in effect since Friday. Sampling confirmed that Atlanta’s public water is safe for use for all purposes and does not require boiling anymore. The water main breaks were caused by burst water pipes that were found to be nearly 100 years old.

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