CLARENCE, N.Y. (WIVB) — Bill Henningson walks into Dave and Adam’s with his arms filled with Bills items including Flutie Flakes, a bobble head doll, and a jacket.
“It’s pretty big because I used to wear it over all my layers when I would go down to the rock pile,” said Henningson, from Cheektowaga.
He’s just one of many people stopping by the sports store dropping off memorabilia which will be sent to Rack’s Bar and Grill in Houston.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Ray Jones, the owner of Rack’s, describing the community support. “It’s mindblowing.”
Jones grew up in Lockport and moved to Houston in the early 90’s; opening Rack’s a few years ago. When the doors opened, according to the owner, there wasn’t a clear direction but on fall Sunday’s they started serving Sahlen’s hot dogs and other Western New York staples. That’s when the lodge-like establishment garnered attention from Buffalo natives and that’s when it became a backer’s bar with the walls covered in Bills memorabilia all of which was destroyed last week when Hurricane Harvey came through the Texas city.
“I can’t even describe the feeling,” said Jones, chocking up. “It looked like somebody set a bomb off in every room in the place. It was unbelievable. Some of the stuff is incredibly heavy and it was just floating.”
The flooding started Saturday. On Sunday, when Jones and his wife went by to pack up some items, the roads leading up to the restaurant were covered in water and inside, a few inches coming in. By Monday, 6ft of water filled the restaurant and everything inside was ruined.
Jones says the support from all over, especially from those in Buffalo, has been amazing.
“You don’t realize how special [the Bills fan base] is until you’re not there.”
The drive is running through the weekend at Dave and Adam’s on Sheridan and Transit near the Eastern Hills Mall. Once Jones is able to reopen the restaurant, all of the collectibles will be shipped down to Houston.