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Nics place reopening Monday after burst pipe forced closure
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Nicole Didion of Nics Place spent this past week getting her Manteca eatery up and running after water damages from an April 15 pipe-burst accident forced her to close. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT

April 15 was a day to remember for Nicole Didion.

The owner of Nic’s Place at 160 W. Center St. Manteca knew something was amiss when she arrived to work that morning.

“When I unlocked the door I could feel the humidity in the air,” she said on Thursday. “I thought maybe we left something on overnight.”

Water blanketed the cozy corner café that Didion opened back in August 2012.

“The water came up to the molding and was everywhere,” she said. “I noticed that (the restaurant) windows were steamed up.

“We looked around for the source of the problem.”

As it turned out, the water spilled over from an accidental overnight pipe-burst from a nearby business, seeping into at least four other places on the block. Nic’s Place and Fantastic Collectibles were hit the hardest as both were forced to shut down as a result of the damages.

Didion lost a bulk of her perishable stock. The floors at her business had to be replaced while the walls were in need of a fresh coat of paint in certain areas.

She was grateful for her State Farm insurance agent Crystal Downs, who arrived within 20 minutes after receiving the phone call from Didion.

The cleaning and recovery efforts began soon after as the work crew cleared furniture and dried away the water.

All Valley Flooring also came through in the emergency situation, according to Didion, who recognized employee Nick McMahon for his long hours of work. “He averaged 12 hours per day this past week,” she said.

As of Thursday, the restaurant cupboards were bare. She was planning to do some shopping in the next few days in order to replenish her stock.

“My refrigerator is usually full so as not to run out of anything,” Didion said.

Most of that was lost to the mishap. She was able to salvage a few of the perishables such as chicken and ground beef in the freezer.

But freshness is what makes Nic’s Place the place.

“We’re known for making our soups and sauces fresh,” said Didion, who is planning to spend Saturday prepping and cooking food for next week’s reopening.

She added: “I can’t wait – I miss my customers.”

Nic’s Place is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and closed on Sunday.

For more information, call Didion at 209.824.9890.