Staff photo by Cole Dittmer
LM Restaurants owner Lou Moshakos takes a crack at breaking a champagne bottle on the newly renovated Crystal Pier for the historic structure’s christening on Thursday, Oct. 3.
Cheers of, “Opa, opa!” could be heard from the crowd of around 60 gathered on the recently completed Crystal Pier as a champagne bottle smashed on the pier’s frame. It was LM Restaurants owner Lou Moshakos who took the first swing at breaking the bottle but pier renovation architect Frank Smith was eventually the one to do so.
Gathered with his family, friends and other members of the LM Restaurants team, Moshakos said it was the moment for which he had been waiting.
“I can’t even tell you how it feels; it is an unbelievable feeling,” Moshakos said.
The renovations, which replaced the failing Crystal Pier structure, also extended and widened the pier to make it open for sightseeing and fishing on the end.
“When I see people out here having a good time that is my favorite part,” Moshakos said. “Last night I came out here and saw people fishing and having a good time, and I ran into a dad going out with two little kids with their fishing gear. … I thought that was great.”
While the renovation was a major undertaking, Moshakos said he would do it all over again if he had to, given the help the project received from the community.
“It was the whole community; everyone contributed really, from the employees in the restaurant who had to do extra work every day to keep it going to the town,” he said. “If I had to do it over I definitely would.”
The pier is now open for dining at the Oceanic Restaurant with an expanded outdoor seating area and access to the end of the pier is free and open to the public via a walkway on the south side of the pier. Moshakos said he was looking forward to next summer at the Oceanic Restaurant with the new pier.
“Originally I thought they were overbuilding it but now that I see the structure I think it turned out just right,” he said.