Sea Isle City repairs hard-hit restaurants, just in time for tourist season
Sea Isle City had its share of sad sights in the days after Hurricane Sandy.
Restaurants such as Shoobies and Steak Out had to be gutted because floodwater filled their interiors. The Carousel outside bar at The Springfield Inn was filled with sand and debris. Excursion Park was blanketed in reeds and refuse, including white and red Sea Isle Ice Co. freezers that had floated there from blocks away.
But because much of Sea Isle shuts down during the winter, its businesses had plenty of time to rebuild, and most recently reopened or plan to soon.
"People are still getting ready, but this is the time of year when people are getting ready anyway," Sea Isle City Chamber of Commerce President Chris Glancey said.
City staples such as Mike's Seafood, the Lobster Loft, La Costa Lounge, The Ocean Drive, O'Donnell's Pour House and even Shoobies and Steak Out all have reopened.
Glancey also owns Diamond's Liquor Store, which had little damage, despite a river that flowed through the adjacent alleyway, because its floodgates held.
"It's something to see when there is four feet of water outside and only an inch inside," he said. "It feels pretty good."
It took Bujar Daku about 2½ months to reopen his Italian restaurant at 50th Street and Landis Avenue, La Fontana Coast. He had two feet of water inside and lost an estimated $200,000 in food, materials and business.
Since reopening in mid-February, he said business has been steady, but he is looking forward to summer, and he said visitors should be, too.
"The town is ready," he said.