Eastern Iowa restaurant surrounded by water stays open - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Eastern Iowa restaurant surrounded by water stays open

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Anyone wanting to use the outdoor beer garden at one restaurant in Burlington, Iowa is going to need a lifeguard.

That's because the Mississippi River is seven feet above flood stage there, and has surrounded the restaurant with water.

But that's not enough to get big Big Muddy's to close its doors.

"You kind of feel like you're on a boat, y'know?"

That's exactly how Aaron Lotzow described his dining experience at Big Muddy's.

"I thought I was on a cruise ship. I saw lots of water."

Customers were pleasantly surprised to find out it's business as usual here, despite the fact that the building is surrounded by water.

"It's still open bud, come in the back door. Park in the back parking lot."

The restaurant gives a new meaning to the idea of waterfront dining. Where I'm standing is typically the outside beer garden. You can see it's just all water. There's normally a parking lot over here, beyond that there are railroad tracks, and beyond those trees, is actually where the river begins.

"You get the best view in the house."

"That's right."

Lifelong residents of river towns like Burlington, Iowa know the importance of respecting the river and all of its power.

They also know when to stand or sit in awe of it's beauty.

"It's out of the norm and it's not a threat, I don't think, to disrupt people's lives," Ted Fenton, a regular customer said.

But, every spring folks here are reminded what Mother Nature is capable of.

And at Muddy's, they're no stranger to flooding.

"So flood of 93 is here and then the flood of 2008 is here so both floods I've been watching the water rise and watching the community pull together and help us keep this restaurant open," Rebecca Smith, a Burlington, Iowa resident said.

Manager Jackie Brockert says they'll wait and watch for it to go down.

"And all the debris and that we'll have to clean up," Jackie Brockert, the restaurant manager said.

In the meantime, diners will have quite the view to go with their meal.

"I am just amazed. It's just incredible to think there's railroad tracks, there's sidewalks, there's streets out there," Brockert said.

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