The Bistro at Topsail closing permanently after Hurricane Florence

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The restaurant owner announced the closure over the weekend citing damages, health issues as the cause.

Chef and owner of Surf City’s The Bistro at Topsail announced plans to permanently close the gourmet, farm-to-table coastal restaurant and step away from the restaurant industry.

Bud Taylor, who opened The Bistro in 2007, cited his own health issues and extensive damages from Hurricane Florence as reasons for the closure.

“As most of you know last year was a very trying year for so many in our community,” Taylor wrote on the restaurant website. “Unfortunately my year took a wrong turn long before Hurricane Florence landed on our coast.”

The chef said in January 2018 he was admitted to the emergency room for shortness of breath and after a hospital stay, was treated for atrial fibrillation and dangerously high heart rates. After treatment, he was eventually diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Seven weeks after a July surgery to help regain full heart function, Hurricane Florence hit the island and the restaurant suffered major damages.

“In the days after the storm, I went through a myriad of emotions from anger to disbelief and at times, tears. I have spent the last six months struggling to return my life and business back to the place it was before. The layers of destruction Florence left seem to never end,” Taylor wrote.

In the forced time away from the restaurant business, Taylor said he found himself weighing the pros and cons of reopening, but also healing physically. As days turned to weeks, he said he noticed a positive change in health, stress levels and relationships.

Taylor said, though it was a difficult decision, he will not only step away from his business, but step away from the restaurant world in the immediate future to take time to heal and spend with family.

Reporter Ashley Morris can be reached at