Long Haul for Short Orders - NBC Connecticut

Long Haul for Short Orders

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    A Meriden diner, under renovations since a crash more than a year ago, is getting ready to reopen.

    When a woman drove her car into the corner of Cassidies Diner on West Main Street in Meriden in May 2008, owner Jay Delaney said he'd be open again in a couple of months.

    He was wrong, and without money from his diner coming in, creditors hit him hard.

    "I pray every day and I think that's what got me through it because, I mean, I've lost everything - my house, my car and my motorcycle," Delaney said.

    He did odd jobs while wrangling with his insurance company and then his bank.  With help from friends, he found a place to live and the support he needed until he could start $80,000 in renovations on the diner, which was built in 1946. 

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    Delaney hopes to reopen the diner with a 1940s theme on Nov. 1, nearly a year and a half after the crash.

    "It's gonna be sweet when it gets reopened," he said. "It's gonna be better than it was. It's gonna be all original, as much as we were able to keep it original, and we're going back to the old theme.  I'm trying to look for poodle skirts for the waitresses to wear."

    Workers are preparing a new walkway between the street and the door. For the inside, Delaney has selected new material for countertops, tabletops and stool tops.  Some customers can't wait.

    "We even had a guy the other day on Friday come in trying to order breakfast.  The construction workers said no, he's not open yet, a few more weeks," Delaney said.

    He's planning a Grand Opening for the weekend of Nov. 7.