The Cross Bay Diner reopened its doors last week almost seven months after Hurricane Sandy flooded the neighborhood favorite.
The popular eatery at 160-31 Cross Bay Blvd., which sits on the banks of Shellbank Basin, was flooded in the storm and had been closed ever since. Even as other restaurants and stores along Cross Bay were reopening, the diner remained closed.
The owners displayed a giant banner on the building a few months ago saying that it would reopen soon and the newly renovated diner starting serving customers again last week.
“It’s great to be back,” the diner’s owner, Michael Siderakis, said. “It was tough to rebuild, but we’re excited to be serving Howard Beach again.”
He said the diner was completely gutted “right down to the beams” and rebuilt. A wall separating the front dining room from the back overlooking the canal was removed allowing for a more open floor plan.
Siderakis said there has been a steady flow of patrons since the diner reopened.
“Customers are back and they’ve been real supportive,” he said.
Cutting the ribbon above left, are Councilman Eric Ulrich, left, Howard Beach businesswoman Frances Scarantino, Democratic District Leader Frank Gulluscio, Emilianna Siderakis, her husband, Michael, and state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr., who also presented Siderakis with a certificate to celebrate the reopening, above right.