One year after Storm Sandy, Old Saybrook's Dock and Dine is finally being rebuilt.
Since late June, the has been serving customers in Old Saybrook.
“Summer was great and the fall was even better,” said Jon Kodama, who owns Dock and Dine.
The goal was to make a little money before the entire restaurant had to be shut down and rebuilt for the second time. Dock and Dine was damaged during Irene and had to be renovated. It had just about opened back up when Sandy came tearing through.
“That’s a section of the dock that came through the building. That’s the current entry. Same entry as before, but that beam came right through the building. This is what’s now the deck. It was our main dining room area that got totally destroyed,” explained Kodama.
Since there was major structural damage, the restaurant needs to be raised up to meet FEMA standards. That means the building that is now Dock and Dine will be knocked down, and a new one that is 15 feet above sea level will be put in its place.
“This is a rendering looking from the parking lot, you can see the building is up in the air,” said Kodama.
It’s a several million dollar project and the second project Kodama has taken on in the past two years.
“I thought for a while that Irene was a blessing, but then Sandy came, and I don’t really think about storms the same way anymore,” said Kodama.
But he wasn’t about to let Dock and Dine go.
“This is a special place for a lot of people, including us, and we wanted to get it rebuilt,” he said.
As he does that, he’s embracing the history of the restaurant and all the people who have made it the icon it has become.
“We’re letting patrons sign it as being a piece of the history of the restaurant, and we’ll incorporate these planks into the décor when we rebuild,” said Kodama while showing a wood plank filled with signatures.
If all goes according to plan, the new Dock and Dine should open by next summer.