SEA BRIGHT: Dive Coastal Bar Owner Christina Di Iorio has been putting up with a lot for the last 20 months since her borough restaurant and bar was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.
Fortunately for her, she was finally able to reopen her business, located at 1072 Ocean Ave., on July 2 after months of loan application denials and hard work.
“FEMA denied us because it’s not our primary residence and our SBA loan was denied because were considered a new business,” Di Iorio said. “We had to do it all on our own.”
This forced she and her husband Steven Graniero to go back to bar tending and waitressing at Wine Loft in Long Branch's Pier Village.
“We saved every tip and check to help us reopen,” Di Iorio said. “Sandy took us out but we still had to pay all the bills so we would not go bankrupt.”
Over 5 feet of water flooded her business and it had to rebuilt from the ground up. Now that it is finished, it looks like nothing ever happened.
“We tried to put it back as close possible to the original design,” Di Iorio said.
She her staff has been instrumental in getting the bar reopened.
“The last few months have been so crazy because we didn’t want to miss the summer season,” she said. “Our staff is amazing, they just jumped in and did what they had to do.”
Now Dive is back to serving up burgers, salads, clams and drinks such as 15 different types of draught beers and fruit-infused martinis.
Di Iorio said new chef Kyle Hopfensber, formerly of D’Jeet in Shrewsbury, has been a nice addition.
“He makes everything from scratch,” she said. “He even grinds his own chicken for the buffalo chicken burger.”
She said she has been happy to see all her old customers back since they had their grand opening.
“We have a unique client base that we genuinely care about,” she said. “They are our friends and they come back to see us.”
Dive is open on weekdays from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. and weekends from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
For more information about the restaurant visit the website by clicking here.
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