UNION BEACH - A beloved Jersey Shore restaurant that was destroyed by Sandy and then forced to shut down after moving to a new location could soon have new life, thanks to a large state loan.
Jakeabob's, the landmark bay shore bar and restaurant, was initially located in the heart of Union Beach. The waterfront building was demolished by Sandy and owner Gigi Liaguno-Dorr decided to open an inland version, even using doors washed away by the storm as tables.
The new eatery was forced to close in March because business was slow and they could not find enough financing to rebuild.
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Now, New Jersey's Economic Development Authority approved $2 million in loans, giving owners yet another chance to start over.
Liaguno-Dorr was losing hope as customers dwindled at her inland location. "If this isn't making it, you have to be able to cut it and try to figure out something else," she said.
When she shuttered her doors for the second time in March, the business became a symbol of the many shops and restaurants still struggling two summers after Sandy.
Other Union Beach business owners like John Roder are hoping Jakeabob's story is the first of many to come. "The hope would be that some business comes back to town, because as a business owner in this town right now I feel like one of the sole survivors."
Liaguno-Dorr now says she hopes to start rebuilding Jakeabob's to its original glory by the end of this year, but this time, it will stand 10 feet higher off the beach.