‘Starting over again.’ Valley Stream diner determined to reopen days after historic flooding

The staff at the Valbrook Diner was in a cleanup phase on Sunday as they disinfected and threw out anything that was contaminated by the water so it can get back to business.

News 12 Staff

Oct 1, 2023, 10:05 PM

Updated 202 days ago

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A Valley Stream diner is determined to reopen after historic flooding two days earlier forced it to close.
The staff at the Valbrook Diner was in a cleanup phase on Sunday as they disinfected and threw out anything that was contaminated by the water so it can get back to business.
"We're going to have to start over again, like starting a new restaurant," said co-owner Thomas Distefano.
He said the eatery's basement had about three feet of water from the flash flooding on Friday. His brother heard water rushing into the building as he was getting ready to leave around 2 p.m.
"By our delivery steps. He saw water starting to come through the door," he recalled.
Distefano estimates tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of food and equipment needed to be thrown out because of the flood water. He said the past three years have already been financially stressful due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It's been a very big struggle. We're just going to keep fighting through it and do the best we can," Distefano added. He added that he is determined to open the diner as soon as possible.
"We're just going to keep going forward to get the community back the diner it loves," he said.
Distefano said the hope is to reopen on Wednesday but that may not happen until Friday due to all of the work that needs to be done.


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