Miramichi: As I sat in anticipation nearly the whole day waiting for the call from Mike to tell me it was open, it dawned on me just how much I really missed good Ole Ben's! Since last March 12th I had been missing my weekly fix of those delightful burgers and dogs the world had come to know and love. So, I gathered up my troops and headed over just a bit early to hurry things along and was lucky enough to be there to witness the opening of the New location with a few people that had wondered in by chance upon the first few seconds of the florescent "open" sign flickering it's long awaited signal.
The new Ben's features many authentic pieces from the old Ben's, such as the counter top, stools and seemingly endless historic brickinbrock on the shelves behind the counter. Perhaps most importantly, the two elements that gives the food it's unique flavor; the old flat top, and copper steamer, of which we are all so familiar. But, the one thing that never changed is the warm reception and hospitality of Mike and his staff, whom always make you feel at home, and could be what I missed most of all about this Miramichi institution. As I sat with my wife, kids, and the people whom started streaming in, it felt just like old times; the conversations, the spirit of the community, and what Ben's meant to it, was quite apparent indeed!
I am proud to say I was the first customer at the new Ben's, and I am sure to say that there will be many more! I hope we all realize what this community lost in March of 2011, and what we should never let fall to the wayside again...Welcome Back Mike, Ben would be proud!
The following is an statement Mike had on his Facebook page this morning:
"We officially opened the doors (after we took all of the newspapers off of all the windows) ( wow, I didn't realize the view) at 4:15 on June 27, 2012. Immediately I started cooking and didn't turn the grill off until 11:00 PM. We were suppose to close at 7 PM, but just try and close the door when people are parading in. When we were about to run out of buns good ol' Chopper ran down to the Save-Easy and bought all the buns they had. Around 7-730 we ran out of hamburgers (even though we had many, many ready) - so we sold hot dogs for the rest of the night. All and all it was a very good day and people seemed to like the "new" Ben's. Because of the windows being covered with newspapers for the last month, this was the first time a lot of people saw the interior, which is simply decorated with some memorable enlargements of past occasions and people of Ben's. Many thanks to people like Chopper Robinson and Miramichi On-Line and of course to Paul Gilliss who constructed the "counter " to resemble the old one as much as possible and to my patient wife Ruth who can now park the car in our garage after having Ben's stored in it for over a year. And a special thank you to all of our loyal customers who made it in on the first day of business and hopefully will be returning. Thank you also to Anne Marie who gave me this opportunity."
Like the sign says:
SAME PHONE # 773-3207
OUR HOURS WILL BE:
SUNDAY - CLOSED (GOTTA SLEEP AND MOW THE LAWN SOMETIME)
MON - WED - 11AM - 7PM
THURSDAY - 11AM - MIDNIGHT
FRI AND SAT - 11AM 3AM
SEE YOU ALL AT BEN'S - MIKE O'R.