About a year ago, the Mountainview business district, in Wayne, was in bad shape.
Tropical Storm Irene took its toll on the area. Several businesses flooded and were shut down, some of them for months.
Grasshopper Too was closed for two months. The Crossroads Eatery, Must Love Dogs, and several businesses in the Stahl Shopping Center were shut down.
Kenny Leech, the owner of Kenny’s Pit Stop, a longstanding restaurant and a fixture in the area, moved to Pequannock earlier this year because of the flooding.
“I didn’t have flood insurance and my regular insurance wouldn’t pay for the repairs,” said Leech right after the restaurant opened at its new location. “I might have had to wait a year or more to open up over there. I can’t wait that long. I’ve got to make a living.”
But the area has rebounded in recent months. Stores and restaurants in the shopping center have reopened. New businesses have opened and some have relocated to the busy thoroughfare.
Marie Martin, owner of Victorian Florist, said that she’s happy with her decision to move, despite the threat of the area flooding again.
“We love it here and our customers love it here,” Martin said. “We had to move and this just seemed like the perfect location for us.”
Frank Brlajoil opened his new grocery store on Mountainview Boulevard last month.
Brlajoil, a native of Croatia, opened the store as a place where North Jersey immigrants from eastern Europe can shop for their favorite foods from back home.
“This location is perfect for us,” Brlajoli said. “There are a lot of Croatians and people from other countries in Wayne and Lincoln Park who are excited to have a place like this to come.”
The store features water from Romania, imported Polish sausage, and fresh, imported goat cheese just to name a few products. If the store doesn’t have something that patrons want, Brlajoili can order it.
“There are a lot of people in this area who miss eating foods from back home,” Brlajoli said. “If we can get them quality foods from back home, that’s wonderful.”