LUDLOW, Ky. — Server Kelly Gannon watched as parts of the beloved Ludlow Bromley Yacht Club sank into the Ohio River Wednesday morning.
The Ludlow staple is a total loss after a barge slammed into it at about 6 a.m., according to Chief Scott Smith. One person was aboard the barge when it crashed; no one was injured. Smith said the kitchen was sinking by Wednesday morning. Tables, bars and refrigerators were also starting to go underwater.
Gannon said the Yacht Club is much more than a floating bar and restaurant — to her, it’s home. The joint reminds her of her mother, who passed away last year.
“She loved coming down here and eating with my dad and everything ... so it’s memories, a lot of memories,” Gannon said.
It's not yet clear how the crash happened; the impact nearly split the bar and restaurant in half and sent six boats adrift in the river.
The popular spot bumps to live music and large crowds on the weekends. Smith said he recognizes the crash could have been much worse.
Daylight reveals damage at @Ludlow_Bromley Yacht Club after a barge slammed into the marina earlier this morning. One person was on the barge, and one person was on a boat that was hit, but no one was injured. https://t.co/MkqQDJv77N Photos | @jasmineminortv @WCPO pic.twitter.com/pVJHFLK5qu— Abby Anstead (@AbbyAnstead) October 2, 2019
“A Thursday night, a Friday night, a Saturday night, it would've been — it would’ve been a major problem,” Smith said.
Had the crash happened 45 minutes later, crews would have been opening the restaurant for the day, Smith said.
Gannon said she is devastated that the Ludlow Bromley Yacht Club might be gone for good.
"Next couple of weeks, I think they are getting ready to end their season down here, but shouldn’t have to go out like this,” Gannon said.
Bromley Mayor Mike Denham is ready to do whatever he can to keep the business alive, he said Wednesday night after a city council meeting.
His city comprises only a few hundred people and sports no bars of its own. Ludlow is home to a little under 5,000. According to Denham, the Yacht Club connected and bolstered both small communities.
“I hope to God that Steve has enough energy to bring it back,” he said, referring to club owner Steve Gott. “If that don’t come back, we’re losing something precious that either Ludlow or Bromely hasn’t had.”
Gott did not immediately respond to reporters’ requests for comment about the future of his sunken business
The Coast Guard is investigating the crash.