Steve and Shandell Pucheu served seafood and steaks at Steve's Marina Restaurant at Long Beach Harbor for six years.|
Steve's established a reputation for fresh seafood, especially its Speckled Trout Chandeleur and Snapper Cat Island. "We served it anyway you wanted, fried, grilled or blackened," said Pucheu.
Then came Katrina.
"The restaurant, the marina, everything was destroyed," he said. "There were a few pylons on the first floor of the restaurant but the second and third floors are totally gone."
After the hurricane, the Pucheus found their stove 1,000 yards down the beach and the walk-in freezer five blocks away. They found plates, dishes, pots and pans scattered for blocks. They salvaged two bottles of wine.
"Fortunately Shandell had taken some pictures that couldn't be replaced to our home, which weathered the storm," said Pucheu, who has 21 years of restaurant experience, managed Chappy's kitchen and co-owned Trapani's before coming to the harbor.
The Pucheus moved their operation to Windance Country Club north of Long Beach and will continue there until they can rebuild.
"We lost 40 employees," said Pucheu. "We'll try to get those jobs back. We've applied for an SBA loan."
"We're still waiting on an insurance settlement and resolving a utility issue. But we will rebuild."
- GARY HOLLAND