Shuckers opens to public Thursday

North Bay Village restaurant closed for 13 months after deck collapsed

NORTH BAY VILLAGE, Fla. - The lunch hour couldn't come soon enough at Shuckers. At noon Thursday, the North Bay Village restaurant reopened its doors to the public.

"It's time to run a restaurant again," said general manager Joe Portela.

A full deck Thursday was a dream scene for Portela. Thirteen months ago, in June 2013, the deck collapsed into Biscayne Bay. More than 100 people fell into the water and dozens went to the hospital.

Since then, Shuckers had remained closed to rebuild.

"The bar looks amazing," said Portela of the repairs. "(We) had the opportunity to gut and remodel everything in here."

The deck is new, and so is the menu. Many of the first diners to return were old faces.

"Happy that it's back," said Fernando Castillo. "Luckily, I wasn't here when it did fall in. It looks much sturdier and more welcoming."

Portela would not say exactly how much was spent on improvements.

"I don't know the cost," said Portela. "But (it took) a lot of hard labor and a lot of sweat."

Copyright 2014 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.