LONG BRANCH: The WindMill restaurant will have its lighted wind vanes aglow come Memorial Day.
The vane has been out of service since the storm in December took the wind vane to the ground in the parking lot. The shaft that holds the vane was broken, worn out from age.
"No one was injured when it fell, thankfully," said Steve Levine.
He and his sister Rena run the seven-store family chain. Rena, plus Steve's daughter Amy and other family and friends were on the scene Monda, May 23 as the new shaft was installed. The repaired, four-legged vane was put back in service.
The first vane cost $50,000 Steve recalled. The cost of recovery was not covered by the original contract and so the costs for replacement ran him about $35,000.
It is not easy to find companies who do this work, but he eventally hired Advantage Contracting. Leon's Crane Service provided the lifting and moving. A Windmill friend and contractor Anthony Malone has his electrical service in Oceanport helped out also. He has been a friend and provider to Steve for years.
The Levine's rely on employees, trades people and business associates to keep the high quality they strive for, Steve said.
The store has been open over the winter. Mike Nolan manages it and is doubly happy to see the wind vane back up.
"I have had 15 to 20 people a day ask when t would be put back," Nolan said.
He has been with the WindMill for 23 years and looks forward to Memorial Day and the summer when West End teems with visitors and longtime patrons.
As for Steve, he was on hand as an EMS member helping keep safety as the work was done. He smiled and said he hopes the weekend weather stays warm and dry. He is wishing for a welcome back with a great season of city visitors and the fun and relaxation of summer in Long Branch.