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A diner that was once the staple of one Dutchess County community reopens Tuesday. As YNN's Michael Howard reports, it's nearly a year after part of its original building was demolished when one of its walls collapsed.
WAPPINGERS FALLS, N.Y. -- In a small shopping mall off a busy street in Wappingers Falls, you’ll find Paula and Tom Kastanis making breakfast and lunch for their many regulars of 12-and-a-half years.
"It still makes me a little emotional," said Paula Kastanis. "We lost everything."
It was thanksgiving morning last year when owners Tom and Paula got the call.
"When I got down there, I realized it wasn’t anything minor," she said.
A wall inside the original Falls Diner fell apart, leaving it and the historic building it was in unsafe.
"To us, it was lost," she said. "We couldn’t get in or get anything out of there."
The town was forced to tear the building down soon after, which left the Falls Diner’s employees and many of its customers shocked.
"I couldn’t believe it, like everybody else," said customer Pete Sanfilippo.
"It had a lot of meaning for a lot of people," said Michelle Murnane, a longtime customer. "There were a lot of special events that were done there."
Kastanis says a friend was able to show her an empty place inside the DeGarmo Hills Plaza.
"The minute I walked in the door, I knew this was its new home," said Kastanis.
Where just under a year later, the two are back, hoping to set the table again for success for many years to come.
"We're not here to get rich," said Kastanis. "We're here doing what we love doing, to make people happy."
Tom and Paula say even though the location has changed, their menu will not.