Woody's workers party through TS Debby waves

PINELLAS CO., Fla - The 10 foot tall waves Tropical Storm Debby delivered to Pinellas County's coastline didn't send workers at Woody's Waterfront Cafe and Beach Bar in St. Petersburg running.

Unlike many bars and businesses that shut down, Woody's stayed open and workers were still serving up drinks and cooking up burgers.

"They were enjoying it," said owner Marlene George.  "It was like a bunch of kids."

After 4 p.m. on Saturday, any customers who came in enjoyed free food and drinks.  George said during the storm that day, 40 people hunkered down at the bar.

"Friends came out.  Customers were coming in out of curiosity to see what was happening and they ended up staying.  So, it was a huge party for a couple hours," George explained.

Patrons were not allowed to party on the patio though.  That is where 10-foot tall waves crashed down.  Luckily, George learned in previous storms to bolt down the picnic tables.

Employees were allowed on the patio to take pictures at their own risk.

Manager Jarrod Rebesher took a cheeseburger out to a table.  He wanted to show that the restaurant lived up to its slogan: 'so close to the water your cheeseburger will get wet.'

"I got overly wet that day," said Rebesher.  "It took me about a full day to fully dry off from the experience.  My shoes are still wet."

Rebesher's photo was posted to Facebook and ended up airing on ABC's Good Morning America.

All customers couldn't participate in photo opportunities and were kept inside for their own safety.  But, being inside didn't keep them away from water.  When the waves crashed onto the patio, they were so strong, they rushed through the bar and out the front door--a distance of about 30 feet.

"There were a few troopers who stuck it out," Rebesher said of customers at the bar.

"Oh they enjoyed it.  That is why there are so many pictures," George added.

George told ABC Action News her crew had weathered worse storms in past years.  Had Tropical Storm Debby turned into a hurricane, George said her workers would have closed up shop and headed home.

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