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Hurricane Florence damage closes Wrightsville Beach’s Blockade Runner until next year

Owners hope to have The Blockade Runner open again by early spring of 2019.

Nicolas Montoya, General Manager Blockade Runner Beach Resort
The Blockade Runner on Wrightsville Beach will be out of commission for at least half a year. (Port City Daily photo / Nicolas Montoya, General Manager Blockade Runner Beach Resort)

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH — The Blockade Runner, along with its award-winning restaurant EAST Oceanfront Dining, will be closed for the next six months due to damage from Hurricane Florence.

The beach resort, which has operated on Wrightsville Beach for over half-a-century, announced on Wednesday it will close its doors for renovations.

“We made the decision following several weeks of analysis and assessments with engineers and experts,” Mary Baggett, co-owner and operator of the resort with her brother William Baggett, said. “The target date for re-opening is early Spring 2019.”

According to Nicolas Montoya, the resort’s general manager, “The major cause of damage was the loss of the roof on the Balcony building and more limited roof damage on the Tower. In the areas penetrated by heavy rain, operations [will] shift from cleanup to restoration.”

The resort’s restaurant, East Oceanfront Dining, will also be out of commission. Executive Chef Jessica Cabo is known for her seafood-driven dishes, and has been a proponent of local oysters, a once neglected ingredient that has appeared increasing on white-linen restaurant tables in the past several years.

Montoya said the staff is looking forward to the spring re-opening, in spite of the setback.

“We’re looking forward to putting together a new menu, with some great things for the spring — we’re going to work hard and be ready to reopen,” Montoya said.

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