Hurricane Irma won't stop the party at this Tybee Island restaurant

If people are still on the island, they're probably at Huc-A-Poos, ready to ride out the hurricane...with a party.

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. -- If people haven't left yet, they're not leaving. 

But if they're still on the island, they're probably at Huc-A-Poos, ready to ride out the hurricane...with a party.

"A hurricane party are those of us who are dumb enough to stay and not evacuate, get together and just have a good time," said owner Eric Thomas. "That's all that hurricane party is."

Thomas rarely closes his restaurant -- even during a hurricane. The only reason he's shutting down tonight is because an officer came by and told him to.

"Well, it's mandatory curfew at 10 o'clock tonight, so they came by tonight and said, 'We'll start locking people up, I guess, if we're out past 10," he said.

Weather warnings are lighting up the TV screens, but people here don't seem worried. When 11Alive's Christie Etheridge asked why nobody here was gone: "Everybody's acting like teenagers and we're like, 'Oh, curfew's not till when?'" joked one woman.

As the wind kicks up on the coast, even though this restaurant is nowhere close to a fortress, it provides shelter of a different kind.

"The owners Eric and Heather Thomas are amazing," said another customer. "This is like the core. So when something happens -- if we have something huge to celebrate, or if work's suffering, a greeting about something -- everyone comes here."

Like, last year, after Matthew. 

They helped the community rebuild. And since they cook with gas, they didn't need power to cook.

"This this is the place that was open. People brought their food here they would prepare it and just keep feeding people."

Thomas told 11Alive the real party starts when the hurricane is over.

"7-Eleven -- We go through what we have, and then people clear out their freezers, and they bring it up here and we put whatever we can on pizza, because we can usually always make dough," Thomas said.

The kind of local flavor that runs straight to the heart.

And while they're shutting down tomorrow, they'll reopen on Tuesday. Ready to cook and clean up, and celebrate the end of Hurricane Irma.

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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