Malibu owners Jose Collado and Alex Grimpas, Executive Officer Bekim Kalicovic, Detective Ray Dorian and 13th Precinct Community Council President Frank Scala (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
The 13th precinct community council honored the owners of the Malibu Diner at 163 West 23rd Street at their most recent meeting this past Tuesday for their quick response after the explosion farther down the block this past September.
Alex Grimpas and Jose Collado, who have been business partners at the restaurant since 1999, reopened their business the day after the bombing shook the block in order to provide meals for the residents of the nearby Selis Manor, which provides housing for the blind.
“They saw that there was a need on the block and saw that they could help,” Detective Ray Dorian said. “They went over and above what was needed.”
Dorian added that since working with the diner while they were helping out after the explosion, the precinct became aware of the ways in which the business consistently helps out the surrounding community, including a special voucher program for Selis Manor residents.
“We’re always trying to give back to the community in different ways,” Grimpas said of the voucher program. “We wanted to try to help those residents socialize because for them that’s very important.”
Malibu Diner customer Barbara Police urged Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo to let the diner reopen. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Although the street was closed to foot and car traffic until Monday night due to the explosion, the owners of one business on West 23rd Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenue felt the need to reopen as quickly as possible.
The Malibu Diner has a close relationship with the residents of Selis Manor, a residence and social service agency for the blind farther east on the block, and diner owner Alex Grimpas said that it was important for nearby residents that they reopened quickly.
“We wanted to be open as soon as possible so (Selis Manor residents) know they’re not by themselves,” Grimpas said. “It wasn’t about making money but it was to help the community.”
Malibu has been in Chelsea for the last 40 years and Grimpas said that his staff is trained to serve the residents of Selis Manor, making sure their food is cut up and that they get discounted meals.
The diner started a program a few years ago with Selis Manor that uses a voucher system to provide at-cost breakfasts for residents, and they wanted to continue the relationship with the residents.