After Month's Delay, Angie's Reopens
The Main Street eatery welcomed patrons again after a fire forced them to close.
Angie's Luncheonette celebrated their grand reopening Friday after being closed for over a month.
"I'm nervous," owner Louise Poulimenos said. "I don't know why."
Poulimenos and her husband Jimmy were forced to close the diner they have operated since 1993 after they suffered damage from a fire. "We're lucky no one was hurt," Louise said, but the fire caused severe damage, especially to the kitchen.
From members of the borough's Department of Public Works to customers and old friends, the early part of Friday morning was filled with people waving as they passed the restaurant or stopping in to congratulate the owners on reopening the restaurant. Some stayed for coffee or breakfast, some did not, but most were clearly glad to have the restaurant opened again.
Jackie and Bill Ford have been coming to Angie's for so long, they have a booth filled with framed pictures and newspaper clippings on the walls. "It's been a long five weeks," Bill said. "This is our favorite spot in downtown Chatham. I'm glad to be back."
Jimmy and Louise replaced most of the damaged area with new doors, new ceilings, new windows. There is also a new stove, new shelves, new sink and new outdoor refridgeration unit, and a paint job. The two came in every day to work and sometimes kept longer hours than they did when the restaurant was open, Jimmy said.
"I said to [Louise] the other day, I thought you closed down," Debra Preziosi of Chatham said as she drank her coffee. "I read about the fire, and I couldn't believe it."
Jeanne and Dick Floersheimer came from Florham Park to "lend some supprt after their fire," according to Jeanne. While they do not describe themselves as regular customers, Jeanne said the two have been to the diner before and wanted to be there to help as the Poulimenoses reopened.
"They're very friendly here, that's why everybody loves to come here," Jackie Ford said.
There is still no word on what caused the fire on Feb. 26. About an hour and a half after Louise and Jimmy closed the restaurant that Sunday, someone reported smoke billowing from the area.
Patrols found a pile of garbage behind the restaurant was on fire and the flames spread toward the back door, police said.
Angie's is open until 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday and until 2 p.m. Sunday.