Students returning to campus with a craving for bubble tea or fish and chips may have to wait to get their fill. A flood on Dec. 24 forced South University mainstays Bubble Island and The Blue Leprechaun to temporarily close their doors while damages are repaired.
A broken pipe in the fire sprinkler system in Big House Tanning caused the flooding, which was reported to the Ann Arbor Fire Department at about 5 p.m. on the day of the incident. All of the businesses in the complex located on the southwest corner of South Forest Avenue and South University Avenue closed following the incident, but all have since reopened except for Bubble Island and The Blue Leprechaun.
The Blue Leprechaun, formerly Touchdown Cafe, suffered $285,000 in damages from the flood. Starting last April, the space underwent renovations to transform the formerly club-style bar into a pub. The flood has forced the restaurant to replace its floors, electronics and ceilings that had only been in use since the pub’s opening in late August.
Perry Porikos, the co-owner of the restaurant, said it was unfortunate that the flood came only a few short months after the renovations.
“We were opened for four months in a brand new place,” he said.
But Porikos said that he expects to re-open in the next few days and remains optimistic that his business won’t be affected in the long run.
“We established a pretty good following for the past few months,” he said. “We have enough space to attract big groups for after games or for after school drinks during the week, so hopefully we won’t be affected.”
Bubble Island also suffered extensive damage as a result of the flood. The shop is still under construction to replace the drywall and ceiling. Most of the food inventory was also destroyed, but most of the tea-making equipment was not damaged. The store will re-open on Monday according to a sign on its front door.
Amy Wang, the shop’s assistant general manager, said Bubble Island lost business from both local customers and University students because of the flood.
“(The flood) has affected business because we were still making decent money because we have a lot of customers that are local and from the high schools,” she said. “Also, this being the first week students came back has hurt us a lot.”
Big House Tanning, where the flooding originated, re-opened on Tuesday after suffering extensive water damage. The business had to replace its floors, ceiling and two tanning beds, as well as repaint the walls.