By CBS3 Staff


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The famous Melrose Diner is back open after a fire in July forced it to temporarily close and loyal customers are rejoicing. Firefighters said it was an electrical fire that started in the roof.

For the past six weeks, crews have worked to repair the building, getting it ready for customers who are looking to satisfy their hunger.

The diner has been a South Philadelphia favorite since the 1950s.

“I love it here, it’s a treasure,” customer Mikey Dimples said. “I was here since I was 1 year old. I was born around the corner.”

Owner Michael Petrogiannis told Eyewitness News that he initially thought it would take 10 days to reopen the restaurant, but when severe smoke damage to the ceiling was found, the timetable for reopening changed.

“It was a long, bumpy road,” Petrogiannis said. “The fire happened on the end of the building. We thought we would be open in 10 days, but there was a lot more damage than I thought there was. So it took six weeks, but the place came along very good and turned out very nice. People are looking forward to this opening. Hopefully, everything is going to be fine.”

Petrogiannis and customers are happy to have the neighborhood mainstay back.

“It’s a big relief. Everybody is back to work, customers are going to be happy, hopefully,” Petrogiannis said.

For some people, the diner is a life-long neighborhood hangout.

“I used to go to school right there at Bok and I used to come past and get donuts and everything going to school,” customer Tracy Nelson said.

For others, this is their first time.

“This is my first time at this diner but I have heard nothing but great things for this diner,” customer Robin DeBeary said.

The diner is offering a 50% special off your order until 8 p.m. However, you have to pay in cash.

CBS3’s Pat Gallen and Howard Monroe contributed to this report.

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