Nearly 40 years ago, Doug Botkin purchased a marina on Lake Houston which he converted into a restaurant named Cedar Landing. It quickly became a well-known seafood restaurant with unmatched sunset views from its lakeside deck.
Doug and his wife Sharon also have their only home on the property, and over the years they have quietly served their community, becoming leaders within their church and local community organizations. They have provided employment to an untold number of people, and they have supported each member of their staff in their educational and career endeavors.
The restaurant has served as the meeting place for numerous civic organizations, and countless weddings and other celebrations have been blessed here. Doug and Sharon raised their children here, each of them spending years working as regular employees, alongside so many other area high school students.
When their community church burned down, Doug spent a year of his life designing, directing, and helping to build a beautiful new church. Cedar Landing has recovered from numerous disasters, including a fire, several hurricanes, tornadoes and the 1994 flood. After each of these, Doug assessed the destruction and repaired the damage himself, surprising his customers with his rapid recovery and opening.
In 2007, Doug decided to make the most out of the used grease from his fryers and built a back-up power generating plant. The very next year, Hurricane Ike tore power lines down throughout east Texas and the entire region was blacked out – except for Cedar Landing. Opening immediately, Cedar Landing offered discount and free meals and shelter to the community for more than a week until the power lines could be repaired. If there is a way Doug can give back to his community, he finds a way to do it.
The magnitude of Hurricane Harvey could well be measured by its impact on Cedar Landing. As the flood waters rose, Doug and Sharon worked with a volunteer crew of church members to empty their restaurant and home of everything they could, trucking away furniture and valued items to higher ground. Like in much of the surrounding area, the waters rose to unprecedented heights and destroyed equipment, tools and furnishings that had been stored at what were presumed to be safe heights.
As the waters receded, Doug and Sharon were there to assess the damage. Having been in smaller floods before, Doug knew the drill and began tearing out drywall to get the structure dry as fast as possible. Volunteers joined him, along with family, church members, customers, former and existing employees and even strangers off the street. During the process, Doug ruptured his quadricep tendon; he scheduled surgery, put on a brace, and kept working. The restaurant and home now stand as gutted frames, and the structural “bones” of the restaurant and home are intact and drying under a battery of fans.
Doug has never asked anything of anyone, and he has dedicated his life to serving his family and community. We, his family, know that he won’t ask now either, and we have banded together to help.
Our plan is to open a smaller, more efficient place where community, family and friends can gather as soon as possible, and we are asking for your help to recover and rebuild. Any funds received that are in excess of the amount needed to restore Cedar Landing and their home will be used to directly provide food to the many others in the community who were devastated by the storm. With your support, Cedar Landing will once again become an anchor in the community, and once restored, we hope you’ll come by and enjoy a sunset view across the lake.
As Doug writes at the close of every Cedar Landing newsletter: “We’re all in this together.”
Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts!
The Botkin Family – Shannon & Jonas Andersson, Trent Botkin & Kate Kita, Amanda Robbins, Heather & Diego Sapon, and Roxie & Justin McInnis