SEA BRIGHT, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Rebuilding in Sea Bright, as with much of the Jersey Shore, has been slow going after superstorm Sandy, but at least one business is reopening Wednesday.
Chris Wood’s restaurant – Woody’s – right off the beach took on four and a half feet of water, but he considers himself lucky.
“The building itself was not compromised. We never lost windows. We never lost walls,” he told WCBS 880 reporter Peter Haskell.
But he did have to rebuild basically the entire establishment.
“Our entire kitchen had to be replaced. All our furniture had to be re-furbished. Beer lines, soda lines had to be replaced,” he said.
$400,000 later, he’s ready to go, and he thinks his customers are ready, too.
“They miss this place. I mean, we see it on Facebook all the time,” he said. “I’ll be super happy. I just wish it weren’t 20 degrees.”
Woody’s is only the sixth business in town to reopen, and the reason was simple – money.
“We’ve basically rebuilt this, mostly using our own dime,” he said.
80 percent of the borough’s residents have yet to return.
Even when his restaurant was closed, Wood made sure the people who remained and were working on rebuilding in Sea Bright didn’t go hungry.
He put his life and repairs to his business on hold and led volunteers who kept their neighbors fed, creating what he told WCBS 880’s Sean Adams was “a mini army camp of sorts.”