After a shocking car crash forced the restaurant to close for two years, Simeon’s on the Commons officially reopened with a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick ’09 and the Downtown Ithaca Alliance Executive Director Gary Ferguson Thursday morning.
Simeon’s was forced to shut its doors after an incident in June 2014 when a tractor-trailer collided with the front façade, reducing it to rubble and killing employee Amanda Bush.
Co-owners Dean Zervos and Rich Avery said they rebuilt the restaurant in Bush’s honor, placing a plaque on the wall to commemorate her memory and naming the build-out after her.
Although the restaurant has opened for limited business since Aug. 26, working with a few former employees, it launched into full operation Thursday after several delays slowed the construction process.
The restaurant — which was named after Ithaca’s founder and the first Surveyor General of New York Simeon De Witt — has been one of Ithaca’s premier gathering places for nearly a quarter of a century, according to Simeon’s website.
The restaurant has undergone major reconstruction since the 2014 accident. The rebuilt front facade replicates, in all but a few details, the facade that was destroyed. The interior of the restaurant dining space has also been enhanced, with the additions of the Oyster Room, Tavern Room, and a balcony space overlooking the main floor.
Zervos said that he has been grateful for the community’s support throughout the rebuilding process.
“The Ithaca Community has been supportive of us throughout and we look forward to welcoming back our old customers and even a lot more new ones,” he said. “The next 10 years are going to be epic in this city, a complete change and re-growth.”