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DALLAS (1080 KRLD) – Talk about making the best of a bad situation.

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Lockhart Smokehouse in Dallas’s Bishop Arts neighborhood found themselves unable to open their doors for two days this week.

“We were getting ready for lunch on Wednesday and everything was great, till one of the managers said the water had stopped running,” says Lockhart’s owner Jill Growbowsky-Bergus. “The city said they hadn’t pulled our meter or anything, so we figured that someone had ‘liberated’ it.”

Without running water in the bathrooms, city ordinances forbade Lockhart from opening. This left them stuck with pounds and pounds of barbeque that they couldn’t serve.

Until Growbowsky-Bergus remembered an email she received earlier this week.

“It was from Eric Nadel with the Texas Rangers, “ she says. “He was spreading the word that commercially prepared food can actually be donated to shelters like The Stewpot and The Bridge. I never knew that, never had any idea.”

So Lockhart employees reached out to both shelters, and someone arrived to take the barbeque. All the meat that would have been served for Wednesday’s lunch went to needy people instead.

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They ended up doing the same for Thursday’s lunch.

“We kept trying to get the water back before lunchtime on Thursday, and couldn’t get it in time,” Growbowsky Bergus says. “So we gave that barbeque to them as well.”

Over 700 people at The Stewpot and The Bridge tasted Lockhart’s barbeque, and were very happy.

“My husband was there serving, and he said it was a great thing we did,” says Growbowsky-Bergus. “We’re grateful every day for our blessings and realized we needed to share.”

The city of Dallas got Lockhart’s water running again Thursday evening. They opened around 5PM, in time for the dinner rush.

“I just want other restaurants to know they can donate their leftovers,” Growbowsky-Bergus says. “If you have anything that’s dated or maybe left from an event, shelters can take it. It doesn’t have to go to waste.”

Growbowsky-Bergus says she’s glad she knew about the email, but if she didn’t she would have done something different with all the meat. “I probably would have told my employees to take home as much as they could carry!”

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