Tinga Restaurant May Reopen Next Week

Mexican Restaurant reaffirms promise to reopen after it was flooded by Hurricane Irene.

Millburn customers may be able to get their fresh tacos, favorite quesadillas and tasty salads next week.

After being closed for almost a year and then vowing to open in April or May, , a Mexican restaurant with branches in Montclair and Westfield may finally reopen next week, one of the restaurant’s owners said.

"We want to open the week of the 15th," co-owner David Fishman said. "We're pushing it."

The restaurant won't just reopen, though. Fishman said the owners took the opportunity to redesign the restaurant while it was closed. The redesigned Tinga will feature some new seating, equipment, titles, carpentry and floors, blended with some of the old decorations, for its return to downtown Millburn. Seating will remain at 50 to 60 people.

"We've spruced up the place quite a bit," Fishman said. "The new booths just arrived today."

Even with the new look, the menu will stay the same.

Tinga renewed the lease with the landlord back in March, with the goal of a May opening, something that didn’t happen.

"It's based on everything falling into place at the right time." Fishman said. "Having done this a few time you just never know."

Originally, Hurricane Irene flooded Tinga, closing it down 11 months ago. In the storm’s wake, all of the restaurant's files, phone system and invoices were damaged. 

At the time of hurricane, Fishman told Patch the “basement was flooded to the ceiling, our front door burst open, our wood floor was ripped up and buckled so bad that the floor is now down to the beams. You can stand and look down to the basement.”

Fishman said the landlord took care of all the repairs structurally, but the restaurant needed new investors to restore everything the restaurant lost.

P_R_PC July 15, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Yes! I applaud Tinga for their approach to re-opening. They took the time necessary to rebuild and do it right. #cantwait I can tell you this...there were restaurants that were in the DIRECT PATH of the floods and damages from the hurricane that opened THAT SAME WEEKEND and I will NEVER eat at those establishments again. They know who they are and they should be ashamed of their approach to food safety, responsibility and business ethics. Congrats Tinga, I'm so ready for a burrito and a shot of tequila.
David F July 15, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Thank you all for the support we've received from everyone about re-opening. As one of the owners of Tinga, I can assure you that the restaurant has been completely cleaned and sanitized. Bruce Jeffrey, the owner of the building, has spent substantial amounts of money by hiring a certified remediation company to clean up after the flood and rebuild the entire inside of the space from the basement up. This included new walls, floors, electric, and plumbing, as well as the cleaning of all fixtures. We, at Tinga, have installed all new interior floors in the restaurant , replaced all bathroom fixtures as well as new banquettes, booths, salvage decorations and kitchen equipment. Again, thanks to everyone who has stopped by and given their support in this long process, We look forward to seeing you later this week for Tinga's re-opening! David -- and All of the Tinga staff
Sharon July 19, 2012 at 12:44 AM
Why would someone write something so mean spirited. Are you a building inspector Joanne? I'm happy to see this establishment come back after being hit so hard by the hurricane. Good night Irene, good morning Tinga!
Marty Wilson July 19, 2012 at 02:54 AM
David, it looks like Joanne above is from the Barack Obama school of small businesses - it wasn't you who risked everything and who has been working all these extra hours to get Tinga back and running - it was everybody. Congrats on getting going again - from all small business owners who know that YOU lay it on the line every day. I will be there early and often!
M OKeef July 19, 2012 at 10:56 AM
Everytime I go to town and see Tinga still closed for repairs, makes me wonder why it took Tinga so long to re-open. BUT clearly they took an extended time to clean up so I would assume they were MORE thorough in the clean up. Is there a story here? Good luck to them; nice to have options besides Italian.


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