It only took one week, but it was years late. The Dearing Cafe is finally hooked up to the sewerage that was installed eight years ago in the rest of the town. Property owner Faye Reeves had to foot the $8,000 bill.
Restaurant owner Derrick Smith said Southern Services in Augusta did the hook-up; and the project, which took five days, was completed last Friday.
"It was a good bit of work," Mr. Smith said. "We didn't have to close. ... We did the work during the early morning hours when we weren't open."
When Mr. Smith took over the restaurant in April and applied for a food service permit, his application was denied until the restaurant could be hooked up to the system. McDuffie County Health Inspector Tim Mosley allowed the restaurant to stay open and monitored the situation until the pre-determined deadline was met.
The reason behind the restaurant's omission from the original town's system hook-up is unclear. Former Mayor Ralph Menees, who was mayor at the time, said the restaurant could not be hooked up because of an inaccessible septic tank under the concrete in the garage bay area of the building.
Mr. Smith said the septic tank was filled and covered last week.
"We had to cut through nine inches of concrete and re-pour about a yard and a half of concrete back over it," he said. "But it is done."
Ms. Reeves said she doesn't understand why the property wasn't hooked up with the rest of the town, leaving her with the expense now. She said the town hook-up was eight years ago when her husband was dying of cancer, and the rental business was handled by him and unknown to her at the time.
"I'm just sorry it wasn't done before," she said. "I haven't been hesitating to get it done all this time. I just needed to know what needed to be done and find somebody to do it... I certainly had good intentions all along. We're just glad to have it done and everything going smoothly again, I hope."
Ms. Reeves said she was thankful that restaurant patrons were patient with the work.