A month after a giant sinkhole opened in the parking lot next to Mikey Dee's in East Aurora, the cafe is preparing to serve up its signature stuffed French toast, Buffalo wing soup and pulled pork tacos with mango-pineapple slaw Saturday.
"We're going to be open," vowed Michael DiJoseph, co-owner of the cafe and catering business at at 227 Main St. "I'm not sure how complete the building is going to be but we're going to be open."
The sinkhole caved in on the night of Nov. 5 as heavy rains drenched East Aurora and a culvert that diverts water from Tannery Brook under Main Street collapsed. The sinkhole had started to appear back in the spring and the village made some repairs to the culvert in late October.
Even after the sinkhole was repaired, the restaurant could not immediately reopen. There was damage to the building and both gas and electricity were shut off as safety precautions. The laminate floor had to be replaced and there were cracks in the glass block windows.
The gas was turned back on and the electricity finally restored a week and a half ago, DiJoseph said.
The sinkhole has been filled in but DiJoseph said he was told by village officials that it wouldn't be paved over until the spring.
In the meantime, DiJoseph said he lost a lot of business.
"A whole month of business is gone," he said. "We lost a lot of catering jobs.... We had Christmas parties that canceled. I can't blame them but it's definitely a ripple effect."
But on Friday, DiJoseph's mind was on one thing: getting Mikey Dee's back open.
DiJoseph expected to be up all night chopping and prepping so that he can reopen his restaurant at 6 a.m. sharp Saturday.
Most of his staff was slated to show up to help with the preparations and a truckload of food was slated to be delivered. Contractors were making final repairs to the building as close to ready as possible.
"It's going to be a photo finish," DiJoseph said.
The restaurant will be open 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays, he said.