VENICE, Fla. (WFLA) – Hurricane season is now over but some Sarasota County businesses are still cleaning up after the devastation from Hurricane Ian in late September.

A popular restaurant along the Myakka River could soon receive approval from the county to reopen.

The future of the Snook Haven barbecue restaurant was in doubt after the destructive flooding caused by Ian.

“It’s not the first time it’s flooded out, but it’s the highest we’ve ever seen,” said Justin Pachota, president of the Venice Pier Group that operates Snook Haven.

Nestled in the backwoods of southern Sarasota County, the Snook Haven Park and Restaurant was submerged in about four feet of water from the Myakka River flooding.

“We love this property,” Pachota said, “so getting back here and working to reopen is something we’ve been anxious to do.”

Pachota said it will likely cost more than $150,000 to repair the restaurant and replace the damaged kitchen equipment and AC.

“I think this area is very resilient,” Pachota said. “People are working very hard and trying to make sure that life is normal again.”

An agreement with the county will allow Pachota’s restaurant group to receive rent reimbursements for the expenses needed to reopen.  

“This was a potential ending to what was a great thing and now it’s not,” Pachota said. “So I think there’s going to be a lot of excitement for us coming back and just a lot of people who are really amped up about being open again.”

While Snook Haven has been closed since late September, Pachota’s staff has been working at other Venice Pier Group restaurants.

“Obviously, they haven’t been unemployed, but this was their home so they’ve been displaced from that so they’re all very excited to be coming back home,” Pachota said.

During a Dec. 13 meeting, the Sarasota County Board of Commissioners will consider the recommendation for the Snook Haven Park and Restaurant to reopen.

Pachota said he hopes to welcome back customers sometime between mid-December and mid-January.