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Flooding will not beat us, says north coast restaurant owner

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Wearing a wetsuit Stevie McCarry, owner of Native Seafood carries pots and pans from his premises. Credit: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Wearing a wetsuit Stevie McCarry, owner of Native Seafood carries pots and pans from his premises. Credit: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Getty Images

Wearing a wetsuit Stevie McCarry, owner of Native Seafood carries pots and pans from his premises. Credit: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

A north coast business owner has said there's not “a storm in existence that could stop” him after his restaurant was left battered by Storm Franklin.

Stevie McCarry is the co-owner of Native Seafood and Scran on the Portstewart seafront — which has been left devastated by flooding.

He said he'd expected the weather to take a turn on Sunday night but when he could hear the storm from his Coleraine home, he knew it would be a lot worse.

Mr McCarry said the water was 6ft deep when he arrived to work yesterday.

“I came down first thing in the morning and the place was just engulfed. The storm basically destroyed the shutter doors that line our building.

“The water got in every corner of every cavity of every part of the kitchen.

"Equipment, tanks, fridges — all destroyed.

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"All our stock was everywhere.”

Mr McCarry started the business along with his wife Rebecca during the first coronavirus lockdown and it was an immediate success.

Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, the couple’s business continued to grow and flourish — leading to the opening of their Portstewart restaurant in July 2021.

He said: “If you throw a curveball at me and Rebecca, we’ll knock it back — that’s who we are. I don't know how we're going to do this — but we're determined. We've never had a normal trading month.

"We’ve just went from listening to Stormont ministers to listening to the weatherman.”

Despite only being a young business, Native Seafood has quickly become a favourite for locals.

Stevie has been taken aback by the support he’s received since the storm took its toll.

“It says a lot when people are coming to see if they can help without you having to go and ask them,” Stevie said. “But that’s why we live in the north coast. We’ve been all over the world but we’re here because it’s home and people look after us here.”


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