Long lines and big smiles as famous Dudley chip shop reopens months after bus crash

The wait was finally over for customers of a popular Black Country fish shop as it finally reopened its doors.

Sofi Hickinbottom and her son-in-law Kiki are all smiles after reopening Sofi's Plaice in Dudley.
Sofi Hickinbottom and her son-in-law Kiki are all smiles after reopening Sofi's Plaice in Dudley.

The queues were long and the smiles wide as Sofi's Plaice on Castle Street in Dudley opened up to serve its famous orange chips for the first time since a bus crashed into the shop on October 20 last year.

The crash had caused severe damage to the shop, but as owner Sofi Hickenbottom opened the doors it was as if the shop had never closed, with customers queueing out of the door as they eagerly awaited their orders.

Sofi's daughter, Stallo Minas, was one of many who supported her mother during the enforced closure and said the reaction from customers had been wonderful.

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

She said: "Everyone's been so supportive and said they couldn't wait to come back to the shop, talking about how much they had missed it and how the food hadn't changed, which I thought was lovely.

"My mum is absolutely thrilled and while she is tired after such a busy first day, she's just thrilled to be back and really appreciates all the kind words from everyone."

Ms Minas said they had lost count of how many people had come into the shop, with guesses at more than 100 people, and said that it showed how loyal the customers had been to the shop.

There were long lines outside the shop after the grand reopening on Monday

She said: "There were lots of older faces who came back and were thrilled to be there and it's really nice to be back open after so long.

"We all just want to offer a huge word of thanks to everyone for their kindness and loyalty and it's been amazing to see everyone here, so we're very grateful.

"We can also promise that all the old favourites will be part of the menu and while there will be new additions to it, I can promise that the chips will always be orange."

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