A two-alarm fire started by an electrical spark ripped through the South Jersey landmark in 2014, shutting down the Haddon Township establishment for the first time since its opening in 1990.
Now, two-and-a-half years later, the diner is celebrating a grand reopening.
Walt Howat of Collingswood was the first customer seated when the Crystal Diner was back in business at 9 a.m. Monday:
Owner Frances Exadaktilos was on hand to hug longtime customers, like Frank Borgesi, who trekked out on the cold morning to be among the first served.
According to NJ Pen, the classic diner has stuck to its familiar menu, but has added some bells-and-whistles, such as a dedicated eggs Benedict station and New York strawberry cheesecake pancakes.
The only other major change is the diner's shift away from 24-hour service to a new schedule. The diner is open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m..
Regulars flooded the eatery's Facebook page Monday morning, congratulating the Exadaktilos family on the reopening.
"The family of Crystal Lake Diner are unstoppable. I am glad you finally got the Christmas gift you want this year," wrote Joan Barski. "You deserve it!"
Photos by David Maialetti