Nearly a year and a half since an early morning fire heavily damaged Grico's Restaurant, the Exeter landmark is open for business.
Business owner Pat Greenfield cut the ribbon Friday evening announcing her grand re-opening surrounded by her staff and dozens of loyal friends and customers. ‘Numb is how Greenfield said she felt, as she took in the reality that her Wyoming Ave business was finally back.
Among the well wishers was Mary Pat Coleman. Grico's has a lot of sentimental value. My husband and I had our first diner date her, she said.
Exeter Council Member John Morgan and his wife Michelle also shared a first date at Grico's. We are happy to have her back, she is such asset to Exeter Borough, Morgan said.
It has been a very long year and a half, said Shauna Strellish, the business manager, but it is very worthwhile because of Pat, she is a wonderful boss, that is why I am here.
Greenfield and her loyal staff worked tirelessly to clean up after the fire and rebuild. I don't know how she does it, but she does and she always has a smile on her face. I never met anyone like her, Strellish said.
Bus person Erin Baltusavich echoed, Strellish's thoughts. We are like a family, we all worked together to make this happen, she said.
Strellish said the business has gone through several transitions since the fire, first setting up a kitchen at the old Seton Catholic High School, where Greenfield and the staff ran a successful catering business. Greenfield served breakfast on Sunday mornings at the Moose Club in West Pittston for victims of the 2011 flood.
It has been a long road back since flames started in the basement in the early hours of August 26, 2011, and quickly spread to the first and second floors. Greenfield narrowly escaped after being rescued by firefighters. Long time friend Bernie Cassetori credits the volunteer firefighters for saving the bar and privacy booths, both hallmarks of the restaurant.
Now Greenfield says there will be some new menu items to go along with the new decor, but restaurant regular Erin Weiss hopes some old favorites will be back, like the informal wine tasting events titled Women Who Wine.
Grico's will open for dinner service starting on Monday and reservations are required for the first week. Grico's is open Monday through Thursday, 5-10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 5-11 p.m.