Mark Cohen, owner of the Chicken or the Egg Restaurant, said he never thought Hurricane Sandy would leave as much damage as it did, but he also never doubted that his popular Beach Haven restaurant would reopen for the summer.
Water from Sandy poured into the basement of Cohen's Beach Haven home, cresting at 6 feet. Cohen knew his restaurant, famous for its Wednesday chicken-wing nights, had experienced the same fate.
Barry and Nicole Baxter's Barry's Do Me a Flavor on Centre Street was similarly treated by the storm.
"I got over by boat on the Wednesday after the storm and walked a mile or so down to my business, and I was absolutely devastated. I can't even really describe my initial reaction. It looked like a bomb exploded in here," Barry Baxter said.
Both owners wasted little time getting to repairs.
Cohen didn't know where to begin. But he; co-owner and brother Craig; wife, Shaun; and an army of employees started anyway.
The Baxters returned to the island once an evacuation order was lifted, taking with them a crew of helpers to rip down to the bare studs and rebuild.
Do Me a Flavor reopened May 3, and Baxter said the first day went smoothly, although they had forgotten to buy new trays to serve the food. But no one noticed.
Chicken or the Egg reopened April 1 - the earliest it has opened in 20 years. Aside from small changes, the restaurant looks the same. A small piece of masking tape left on the wall marks the water's peak.