The Giggling Squid in Hove has been forced to close after a deluge of massive hailstones ripped through its roof, causing damage over four floors.
Owner Andy Laurillard said: “I’m told the hailstones were the size of golfballs. This must have meant the volume of water and ice just piled up and went into the roof rather than through the gutters.
“It must have been 500-1,000 litres of water coming in – it was six inches deep in thebasement.
“We have lost the ceilings and floors all the way through the restaurant, from the second floor to the basement. The electrics are out, the decor is knackered.
“We think it’s going to cost up to £150,000 to repair.
“I found out while on holiday in Wales yesterday morning when I was sent pictures of the devastation on my phone.
“It’s lovely and sunny in Wales, and yet we’ve had this torrential downpour in Hove. My builder said she saw a car floating down the high street in Portslade.
“My neighbour who’s lived here for 60 years says he’s never seen anything like it.”
The restaurant has put a sign up in its windows offering Hove regulars a discount at its branch in Market Street, Brighton.
And Mr Laurillard said he would be taking the opportunity to give the Hove branch a smart new look. He said: “We will be back. We are going to make it look amazing.”