With friends' help, Monica's will return

On Aug. 21 my world came crumbling upon me as I know it. You would think by this statement that this story is going to be sad and though it is completely devastating, I am happy that everyone is safe and sound.

My employee's livelihood along with mine came to despair as my restaurant was deemed condemned until further notice. At 11 a.m. that Aug. 21 I was awaiting my usual business district crowd to come in for lunch as they did everyday and in one quick moment all I heard was fire alarms and being told that everyone needed to drop what they were doing and vacate the building.

As I stood outside with my employees and customers watching the firemen hosing down the flames, I had tears coming down my face as I am being told that my restaurant was completely saturated and no one could enter. My restaurant known to my customers as "the cheers without beers" was no longer.

And so here we are, several weeks later and with the help of great staff, family and friends, we find ourselves working harder than we ever have as we are gutting the whole restaurant to its shell and awaiting the roof to be completed and the fire marshal to give his approval that the building is structurally sound to start renovations for our new beginning.

Though my landlord, Bill Cornish is fully insured and will make sure that my restaurant's structure is up to code, I am responsible for everything else. Unfortunately my costs for the renovation will definitely exceed the insurance coverage that I have, but please know that this is not a cry for help; but a nod of appreciation to absolutely everyone who has donated their time, support and hard work to help me rebuild Monica's State Street Diner. I don't know when the grand reopening will be, but I can't wait to see and feed all our wonderful and loyal customers again.

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