Conroe businesses bounce back from Hurricane Harvey: Vernon’s Kuntry Katfish


When Hurricane Harvey brought 3.5 feet of water into local family-owned Vernon’s Kuntry Katfish, it caused extensive interior damages and the restaurant closed its doors for three months to do a complete remodel, office manager Debbie Bowers said.
During the three months until its reopening on Nov. 21, the restaurant offered fish, fries and hushpuppies from a tent in the parking lot in exchange for donations and a GoFundMe was launched to support the restaurant’s 50 employees during construction, Bowers said.
“We did it for our employees, to give them some money while we were out of business,” Bowers said. “We have girls who have to pay rent, they have a car note, some of them are single moms.”
Community members reciprocated the Bowers family generosity by helping to excavate the restaurant and donating services. Moreover, Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club organized a fundraiser in October for Vernon’s Kuntry Katfish, raising $119,000 with the help of numerous volunteers and donations from the community.
“I never expected it. I know we did a lot, but the community really came through for us,” Bowers said, “from all of our customers to people that we didn’t even really know that well. Everyone pitched in.”

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Kelly Schafler
Kelly Schafler is a reporter for the Conroe and Montgomery edition of Community Impact, covering public education, city government, development, businesses, local events and all things community-related. Before she joined Community Impact as a full-time reporter in June 2017, Kelly wrote business and dining features for CI as a freelance journalist.
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