Asbury Park Rocks on After Superstorm Sandy

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Doug Volan, owner of a 2-year-old coffee shop in the downtown area, also reported seeing a lot of new faces this year.

"It was great, it felt like a very busy season," he said.

For chef and restaurateur Schlossbach, the road to victory took much longer, with the last of her four shuttered businesses, Pop's Garage, finally reopening two weeks ago.

Not long after, Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. announced that a $3.6 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency had been designated to repair damage sustained to the Asbury Park Boardwalk.

"There are pieces of wood and glass from the destroyed boardwalk and restaurants that have been reclaimed and repurposed throughout the new spaces," Schlossbach said. "I thought it would be positive to try to take what happened and create something for the future."

She planned to host a bonfire outside the front of Langosta Lounge tonight as part of a "Sandy Release Party" to let go of all of the hardships of the past year.

"Sometimes, it was very hard to just get out of bed and deal with all of this," she said. "People can be very out of sight, out of mind. But if you focus on that, it just crushes you.

"And at the end of the day, I couldn't picture working this hard anywhere else where I wouldn't have a view of the ocean like I do here."

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