Patrons of a popular diner in downtown New London cooked up plans Thursday to help reopen the eatery and help the upstairs tenants that were burned out by a fast-moving fire in August.
On Aug. 21, a fire damaged the roof at the Monica's State Street Diner during the height of lunch hour. The customers along with the tenants of the apartments in the four-story building were forced onto the street while firefighters battled the flames.
Though the fire was contained to the roof, the thousands of gallons of water from the fire hoses damaged that area of the landmark restaurant.
"I peeked in here and I just started crying," said the owner of Monica's Diner, Monica Rossi. "It was just raining in here."
Rossi and all her employees have been out of work ever since. Rossi said the sooner the contractors can get in she can get her employees back on the payroll.
"They're all waiting for me to reopen. They didn't go out and get other jobs," Rossi said. "Some got side jobs. Everybody wants to come back. My customers want them all back."
However, the same regular customers they serve, want to do a service for them.
"We're going to try and do whatever we can with the cooperation of Dime Bank and get them something to help with the efforts that they're going to come back," said customer Mike Doyle, who planned the fundraiser.
The Dime Bank has set an account to benefit the victims of the fire. To donate to the "State Street Fire Victims Fund," people can just stop into any of the 11 Dime Bank locations.
Rossi said that "realistically" she would like to reopen the diner by the end of November.
"I would love to be open for the Holiday season," Rossi said.
Rossi said she won't be able to make this Thanksgiving are her giant pies.
For more information on the "State Street Fire Victims Fund," click here.
Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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