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The neon “OPEN” sign said it all: After months of headaches and delays and budget crunches (much of which Y&H will detail in tomorrow’s column), Capital City Diner finally opened for business yesterday in Trinidad. It was packed with neighbors, well-wishers, reporters, and even a surprise out-of-town guest.

After the jump is my brief snapshot of opening day, but before you look at these pics, check out Darrow Montgomery’s evocative, far superior photo essay on the diner.

Co-owner Patrick Carl, center, was the calm presence in the center of the storm yesterday afternoon. 

The short-order cooks were working non-stop trying to keep up with the tickets.

Lynn Dougherty is the daughter of Bill and Ruth Gilbert, the owners of the Goodrich Diner from the early 1950s to 1966 in Avoca, N.Y. The Goodrich was the original name of the diner that eventually became Capital City. Lynn and her husband, Tom, both retired, made a special trip from Chester, Va., to eat lunch at Cap City yesterday.

Y&H wasn’t the only reporter on the scene. An unknown camera crew was also poking around for comments and pictures.

There was no time for fussy mise en place yesterday. It was slap-and-griddle time at the diner.

There was nary a seat to be found at either counter or booth.

Fresh carrot and chocolate cake were two of the dessert options.

The majority of employees at Capital City live in the Trinidad neighborhood.

According to Lynn Dougherty, these booths used to have little jukeboxes attached to them in the ’50s and ’60s.

No diner is complete without its Bunn warmers.

Carl, center, was performing a number of duties, from order-taker to manager to Capital City spokesman.