After seeing his restaurant flood for the second time in two years, Spinnaker owner Brett Jensen has decided not to reopen.
After seeing his restaurant flood for the second time in two years, Spinnaker owner Brett Jensen has decided not to reopen. Max Fleet

Too hard to rebuild a second time for flood hit restaurant

WALKING away after years of hard work was never going to be an easy decision, but for Spinnaker owner Brett Jensen it was the right decision after watching floodwaters inundate his restaurant for the second time in two years.

Knowing it would financially and emotionally break him to try to rebuild again, Mr Jensen and his wife have made a fresh start in Gladstone after months battling their insurance company.

"We were fortunate to have insurance which gave us the option of a payout, and fairly quickly they approved it so we could walk away from the restaurant," he said.

"But then they backflipped and we had to battle through the Ombudsman to get them to commit to the payout."

Despite winning after two months in the courts, Mr Jensen said it was an awful experience.

"It was absolutely horrific - high stress - wondering if we would be left bankrupt," he said.

Mr Jensen said it had cost every cent the couple had to reopen and continue after the first floods, and trying again was too much to bear.

"In hindsight, it might have been better to take the loss the first time as we lost a lot more trying to keep it open," he said.

"There was just no way we could rebuild again."

Sleeping in the restaurant to keep an eye on the business as the Burnett River started to rise in late January; Mr Jensen said he never imagined having to relive the nightmare of the first flood.

"To know in 30 years the restaurant had never been flooded and then for me to take over and then be flooded twice - it was an omen to get out," he said.
 



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