By Luke Lavoie, firstname.lastname@example.org
1:52 PM EDT, April 23, 2013
Don't be alarmed if you no longer see Clyde's iconic white-and-yellow-striped awnings strewn over the pathway along the downtown Columbia lakefront.
While most of the iconic awnings are gone, Clyde's is still there, reopening on Monday, April 22 with an expanded dining space and revamped menu.
"By and large, I think people are going to be really happy," said Clyde's of Columbia General Manager Paul Kraft about the $5 million renovation project that closed the restaurant for 13 weeks.
"People can expect to have a really comfortable meal and an equally comfortable dining experience."
When Clyde's of Columbia reopened its doors on Monday, it revealed the results of the renovation project, which includes an expansion of the dining room six feet closer to the lake, the addition of 12 booths, larger restrooms, a new kitchen, new ceilings and a refurbished bar.
Kraft also said Clyde's has undergone "a dramatic menu change," but has kept a majority of the classic dishes, including Clyde's menu of burgers.
Randy Heydinger, who works in Rockville and lives in Virginia, said he drove from his office to check out the refurbished restaurant.
"Clyde's is always good food and good times," said Heydinger, who said he frequents the restaurant once every two weeks.
"What a difference," he said about the renovations. "It's like a whole new place that still has some of the same charms."
Columbia resident and native Helena Ota said the restaurant was much brighter.
"It brings the nostalgia of the old place with some upgrades," Ota said.
The Tomato Palace, which is also owned by the Clyde's Restaurant Group and shares a bathroom with the restaurant, also reopened Monday.