Lee’s Diner, located in downtown Hammond on West Thomas Street, is officially back and open for business. The diner reopened Monday at 11 p.m after a fire broke out in forcing the 1950’s themed diner to temporarily close.
The fire accidentally began around 3 p.m. on Apr. 10, 2016 at the neighboring business, Superking Seafood, and caused substantial damage.
Almost 9 months later, Lee’s is open for business and according to Manager, Krystal McPhearson, it was worth the wait.
The sudden plume of smoke that formed over the restaurant in April stunned local residents. Erin King, Hammond local, said, “I was shocked but thankful that the damage wasn’t too bad. It could have been a lot worse.”
Lee’s has been a Hammond favorite since its original opening in 1963 serving up Delicious hamburgers,po-boys and classic milkshakes. McPhearson said that the reopening drew an impressive crowd and the customers welcomed them back with open arms and empty stomachs.
Once the flames were put out and everyone was reported safe, the next step was rebuilding. Owner Sam Tallo remained optimistic about reopening as fast as possible throughout the entire process. King was thrilled about the diner’s quick comeback. She has been eating at Lee’s since she was young and was among the first to eat at the new and improve establishment.
King said, “It’s a part of my childhood so I’m definitely happy that it’s back for good now.”