After a four-and-a-half month hiatus, the wait is over: The Happy Kitchen and Diora Boutique have opened their doors again.
It’s been a long time coming, after a wayward Ford Mustang demolished the storefronts of the neighbouring stores in downtown Fort Langley June 5.
Overnight, the car jumped the curb and crashed through the stores, ending up stuck inside Diora Boutique, located in the 9100 block Glover Road.
A 28-year-old Langley man suspected of driving the car was issued a 24-hour driving suspension, ticketed for driving without due care, failing to have a licence plate and failing to produce a driver’s licence.
For the past couple of weeks it has been business as usual at Diora Boutique and The Happy Kitchen.
“The store is open finally after four-and-a-half months,” The Happy Kitchen owner Angela Gauthier told the Times last week.
But her insurance claim won’t be settled for at least another month.
“It’s a huge relief getting it back up and running and everybody back to work,” she said. “[But I’m] extremely frustrated that it took so long with unnecessary delays waiting for engineers, building permits, because of people being on holidays and permits sitting on a desk until they came back from holidays.”
Gauthier said her business will never recover the loss because the insurance premium only covers the margin – wages and rent, “so the actual incoming cash flow is lost forever.”
Gauthier hopes that the Christmas season will be good for business.
However, she said, “we just received notice that BC Hydro and the Township want to tear up the streets starting this month – that’s not going to help any of us shop owners going into our busiest time. January makes more sense to me.”
The Happy Kitchen employee Willie Kok said the hope was to open the store earlier — “But what can you do?”
“It is nice to be here again,” she added.