After 41 years of running their Moonachie restaurant, the Bazzarelli family got hit hard by Superstorm Sandy.
After being closed from more than two months due to Superstorm Sandy damage, Bazzarelli Restaurant and Pizzeria had a soft re-opening on Saturday December 29, followed by a grand re-opening yesterday, January 7, welcoming customers back into the popular Italian restaurant on Moonachie Road.
But the opening was not accomplished alone; friends and loyal customers of the family-owned restaurant donated their time and money to help with the recovery.
"All those people have reached out to help them rebuild, because they are a part of this community," said Moonachie Mayor Dennis Vaccaro in an interview with The Record.
The family estimates the damages to the restaurant have been around $300,000, without any large-scale support or insurance. But neighbors, also recovering from the storm, brought in home-cooked meals and carloads of snacks and supplies to the family, who had often supported the community through the restaurant. Others volunteered to help paint, and donations large and small helped the family get back on their feet, according to The Record.
This past Monday, the restaurant finally reopened, with a visit from Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno to offer her support.
"Some people say we've forgotten Little Ferry and Moonachie," Guadagno told the crowd gathered outside the restaurant. "Let me tell you — you are the victory story of the day, and we are never going to forget what happened up here in Little Ferry and Moonachie, we are never going to forget how we need to support them every day."