SEA BRIGHT – Ama Ristorante at Driftwood, the newly renovated restaurant on the Sea Bright oceanfront, has reopened.
The restaurant was able to open its doors on Friday, Nov. 30, just a month after Super Storm Sandy struck.
It was the first business to reopen in Sea Bright since the catastrophic storm hit.
The Stavola family, Chef Pat Trama and General Manager Laura Borawski, are pleased to be a part of what is a first step in the ultimate restoration of the Sea Bright business community.
“We offer our heartfelt thanks to all the wonderful people who helped us in our efforts to reopen quickly,” said Mike Stavola, one of the members of the family that has owned the popular beach club since 1957. “We would particularly like to recognize the contributions made by the dedicated officials of Sea Bright, the courageous first responders, our employees and our families.
“We also understand that Ama Ristorante was more fortunate than many of our neighbors, who face continuing struggles in an attempt to rebuild homes, businesses and lives,” he said.
The restaurant, which originally opened Sept. 14, offers expansive views of the Atlantic Ocean and Shrewsbury River and was fast becoming a favorite among locals. The restaurant had been formerly located in Atlantic Highlands.
In addition to the reopening, the Stavola family is currently preparing a fundraising effort designed to assist Sea Bright property owners rebuild. Details of this fundraising plan will be announced next week.
More than 75 percent of the structures in Sea Bright suffered major damage. Before anything could be done to start the rebuilding, the roadway and streets, which were covered with 5 to 6 feet of sand, needed to be cleared. Mike Stavola, who is also owner of Cardinal Contracting Co., an earth-moving and paving company, worked around the clock to clear the streets by literally removing mountains of sand and debris.
Cardinal Contracting crews continued working around the clock to remove mountains of sand and debris from the streets.