Restaurant Reopens After Surviving Irene and Sandy - NBC Connecticut

Restaurant Reopens After Surviving Irene and Sandy



    Restaurant Reopens After Surviving Irene and Sandy
    The Guilford Mooring is reopening for the second time after a major storm.

    Nearly a year ago to the day, Guilford Mooring opened its doors after coming back from Tropical Storm Irene. Yet on Thursday, they're doing the same, but this time the comeback is from Superstorm Sandy.

    "It's a big change from the old one. Big change," said Nick Ciofalo, of Guilford, who's been coming here for years. "I'm very glad they're back. This is their first day."

    Pictures hanging on the wall show when Irene ripped through the restaurant, then Superstorm Sandy put Whitfield Street and the restaurant under water.

    "It took a toll on us," said Ralph Damato, the general manager, who dealt with the insurance companies, FEMA and contractors after Sandy.

    He also had to lay off nearly 70 people.

    "The place was a mess. Upside down," Damato said.

    "There was a lot of water in here. Afterwards this place was destroyed. Ice machines were on the ceiling," former sous chef Michael Touranjoe said.

    The tile floor is the only thing that survived Superstorm Sandy. All the furniture and bar tops are brand new.

    "I think it's an anchor in Guilford and people look forward to coming here," Damato said.

    The restaurant owner said that after Irene, they took the opportunity to give the restaurant a facelift.

    They also did great business before Sandy came. Yet after 12 years and a lot of encouragement from patrons, he'd rebuild again if he had to a third time

    "That kind of gives you energy to keep you going also," said Mike Romei, the managing partner.

    Many of the restaurants along the water in Guilford are still closed but the one next door hopes to reopen again in May.