Restaurant Rises From Rubble

WEST PENN TOWNSHIP — The owners of a diner in Schuylkill County, destroyed by fire two years ago are making a comeback.

The place has a new name and shape and it’s attracting longtime customers.

It all began in September of 2011. There was not much left of the White Diner, near Tamaqua.

That was followed by two years of rebuilding.

Owner Morgan Jones said they did it with a limited budget.

“I never thought it would happen to us and over the two years I never thought it would get rebuilt and it was very, very hard.”

It’s not a diner anymore, now it’s a full restaurant called Jones Grill.

The restaurant owners say they were able to rebuild because contractors did most of the work for free, and only charged for materials.

Dave Frederick is one of those builders.

“A pile of lumber here and you start putting it together and it takes a little bit of time. It’s satisfying to see a completed project and it’s even more so seeing this completed,” Frederick explained.

Dave Petritsch is a longtime customer.  Petritsch said he remembers coming to the White Diner as a kid.

“When it burned down, we were anxious for it to come back again and that took about two years, I guess.”

Rebuilding was a community effort. The owners point to the antique signs and pictures of the original diner that were donated by a local historian.

The business has come a long way since the fire in 2011 and the owners say they’re here to stay.

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