Popular Dudley chip shop preparing to reopen months after bus crash

A popular Black Country chip shop is getting ready for its big reopening, months after a bus crashed into it.

Sofi Hickinbottom was devastated at the time, but her daughter Stallo Minas said she was excited to be able to open up again
Sofi Hickinbottom was devastated at the time, but her daughter Stallo Minas said she was excited to be able to open up again

Sofi's Plaice on Castle Street in Dudley was forced to close after the driver of the bus lost control on a wet road and ploughed into the shop on October 20 last year.

It damaged the frontage of the takeaway, with the windows and front door smashed, leaving glass and wooden beams strewn across the floor, as well as damaging the fryer and other cooking equipment.

The crash left owner Sofi Hickinbottom devastated and a community without its favourite chip shop, while it was unclear at first when the shop would be able to reopen.

However, Sofi's Plaice has now been given the all clear by contractors to reopen on Monday and Sofi's daughter Stallo Minas said it was wonderful to be able to get back to normal.

She said: "There's a mixture of relief and amazement at the fact that we can back to what we know and serve the community as we have done for 35 years, so it's relief and a really good feeling.

"My mum's absolutely ecstatic as she, as everyone has said, is the face of Dudley and it's not the same when Sofi's not around. so she can't wait as she's 78-years-old and it's like having her baby back."

The bus after it crashed into Sophie's Plaice, Dudley. Photo: West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service

Ms Minas also said she wanted to thank the community for all their support and love while the shop was closed.

She said: "It's been absolutely amazing for the loyalty they've shown and every time they've been in the shop next door and spoken about how they miss it and want to know when we can reopen it.

"They've told us how much they miss us and they don't go anywhere else and they've been wonderful and so helpful to my mum."

The crash destroyed the frontage and caused significant damage inside the shop

Ms Minas said there wasn't a plan for any grand opening for the shop, saying that for the people who went there, the opening of the shop was enough.

Sofi's Plaice is set to reopen on Monday, May 16 at 11am.

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