Double Dave's Pizza gives back to customers before closing

SPRING, Texas (KTRK) -- Walking into the Double Dave's Pizza Shop, it's easy to see and feel the family atmosphere owner Donna Gregory created.

"Our restaurant is a dying breed, if you think about it, for families. It's hard for families to bring their kids and feel comfortable and let them play and be," said Gregory.

It was a dream for her and her husband to own their own restaurant and in April 2017, that dream finally came to fruition.

"We love to come here. It's fast, it's easy, it's quick and it's always good and we love the people working here," said customer Lana Bedingfield, who proudly brings her grandchildren to the restaurant up to three times a week.

But the owner's dreams were tested shortly after opening shop.

"We were here for seven weeks and the first flood," she explained while holding back tears.

The restaurant took on four and a half inches of rain during the 2016 Memorial Day flood.

They shut down, but their employees rallied and they were back open within several months.

Nearly a year and a half later, Hurricane Harvey poured four and a half feet into the business.

"Harvey really took its toll on us," said Gregory. "It took all of our computers, just everything, our oven. Everything."

Again, they were closed for months, but this time friends, family, community members and church volunteers jumped in.

They cleaned floors, salvaged and sanded benches and rebuilt.

Unfortunately, the business was never covered by flood insurance and incurred debt.

When many of their customers, still out of their home, stopped coming in for pizza, that debt mounted.

"We just, we can't do it anymore. With the debt from the flood, we just can't make all of the bills," said Gregory.

Gregory and her husband were forced to make the tough decision of closing up.

"My heart is definitely hurting a bit," said Gregory's son Trevor, who worked at the restaurant through high school.

"It's sad to see that this place is closing," said manager Tim Miller. "It's hard to come back off things like that. You flood once, you try your best to get everything, then when you flood a second time two years later, it's just a struggle."

Before hugging their last customer goodbye, they decided to have a happier sendoff by giving away meals for free.

"Today is giving back to the community. We never really got to properly thank everyone that came out and helped us," Miller said.

They sold out of their food in just six hours. The final customers walking out around 5 p.m.

Gregory says she will spend some time decompressing with family and traveling, and is not counting out a comeback in the restaurant industry.

A customer established a GoFundMe account for the owners to help them pay off bills after the closure.

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