Iconic Melrose Diner reopens in South Philadelphia after fire

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Iconic Melrose Diner reopening in South Philadelphia after fire
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Iconic Melrose Diner in South Philadelphia reopens after fire. Jeannette Reyes reports during Action News at Noon on September 11, 2019.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Six weeks after it was forced to shut down due to a fire, the iconic Melrose Diner in South Philadelphia opened its doors to the public once again on Wednesday.

A long line of people waited outside for the doors to open at 8 a.m. The diner had been closed since a fire in July tore through the roof.

They came from near and far.

"I am coming from Florida," said one customer.

One customer even took the day off work.

"I set my alarm early and I didn't go to work today to come here. That's how much I love it, honestly," said Michael Angelo, South Philafelphia.

Waiters reunited with customers who have become like family.

"This is home, my coworkers everybody here," Rebecca Smuck, a server at the diner.

The owner, Michael Petrogiannis, says the damage was more that they expected and the ceiling had to be completely redone.

"Everything is special today. It's a special day," Petrogiannis said.

For some it's the food and atmosphere that draws them to the diner, which has been there since the '50s.

But for most longtime customers it's the warm memories that come rushing back when you grab a bite at the Melrose.

"It was like going home to mom coming here. I treasure it. I love the Melrose," said Angelo.