Patrick Loop's "crazy antics" and "off-the-wall things" are what Basin St. manager David Longoria will miss most about the entrepreneur.
"I don't know where he would get his energy from. I would try to keep up with him, but I couldn't," said Longoria, 31, about the 53-year-old Sterling man. "A very eccentric personality, that's the best way I could describe him, [and] most definitely high energy."
Loop died early Thursday morning of a massive heart attack. Shortly after Basin St. shut down at midnight, Loop "was not feeling well and collapsed," Longoria said. The employee tried to revive Loop and called the paramedics, who also were unable to save him.
"The staff was pretty much devastated. It was extremely shocking," Longoria said about a staff that ranges between 12 to 15 employees. "We were a family more so than other restaurants. … Since we're a noncorporate restaurant, it was like us against the corporate world."
Loop often joined the staff on Monday outings — the only day of the week the restaurant was closed. "Whoever was available, we would all go, and Patrick was there as a friend, so that made it cool," Longoria said. "He's a really nice guy and he cared about us, but when it came to the business, he was real hard-nosed. You had to understand the yin-yang side of him, so everything was cool."
LOOP'S SON Patrick "Rick" Loop Jr. asked Longoria to step in as manager after he took the summer off from working at the business. Longoria, who returned on Friday, started as a server in 1997 and became a manager two years ago.
"I consider him a friend of mine. I started here since day one," Longoria said.
Loop and co-owner Nick Samiotis opened the American Continental cuisine restaurant, New Orleans-style, in October 1997. Loop, who was born in Muncie, Pa., had been working in financial consulting for 15 years before he decided to enter the restaurant business. He worked as a real estate broker and had owned Piedmont Real Estate.
Since opening the restaurant, Loop continually added New Orleans-style decorations to the ceiling and walls of the building, keeping the rows of hanging beads in place when he occasionally rotated the decorations, along with the stage and bar area. Paintings of jazz scenes and of Louis Armstrong, whom Loop admired, color the walls up to the high ceilings.
Loop named the restaurant after the street where Armstrong was born and buried in New Orleans. The club fits music to the restaurant's theme by bringing in jazz, blues, funk, and rhythm and blues performers six days a week.
"I think we're going to keep everything the same for the immediate future," Longoria said.
Loop Jr. agreed to take over in Loop's place.
Basin St. closed following Loop's death and will remain closed until Thursday. The restaurant's five-year anniversary will be on Oct. 27.
Loop leaves behind two children, Loop Jr., of Sterling and Tara Loop of Manassas and six grandchildren. He also leaves behind his wife of 33 years Brenda Moffett Loop. They met and married in the Washington, D.C. area.