Motorists traveling down Diamond Street will have something new to catch their attention, as a newly recreated neon sign for Missy’s Arcade Restaurant was installed Tuesday.
The sign is the end result of a five-month project which began on June 19 when it was taken down to undergo renovation. Missy Wescoat, the owner of the eatery, said restoring the front signage has been a long-term goal of her’s.
“I have been wanting to do that since I took over the restaurant,” she said. “So it’s just been a dream of mine to finish that sign, to re-do it.”
Wescoat took over the Arcade Restaurant in March 2001, though the business has a history that stretches farther back. When she initially received ownership, the sign was already in a state of disrepair, with only a single word’s worth of neon able to light up.
In addition, the display appeared very weathered with age. While she is unsure of an exact date, Wescoat said that the neon sign has been around since at least the late 1940s.
Thanks in part to a $5,000 funding source from the Greater Titusville Development Foundation’s Downtown Titusville Facade Improvement Grant, Wescoat was finally able to afford the costs of the project.
In total, the recreation cost $17,909.65, a sum which would have been higher if not for some generosity from Windfall Rod Shop. The company’s owner, Robert Joyce, agreed to have his employees donate their time toward working on the metal necessary for the project so long as Wescoat applied for the facade grant. Windfall Rod Shop also took on the removal and installation of the display.
“Bob made that really possible,” Wescoat said. “It was something he wanted to see as much as I did.”
Windfall Rod Shop specializes in the restoration of historic items, typically dealing with vehicles or things relating to the oil and gas industries. Joyce said he also enjoys helping out with improvements to Titusville in general, so the project was a perfect fit.
“The sign really was right in our wheelhouse,” he said. “It just made sense.”
Initially, the workers were going to use the original metal for the new version. However, Joyce said it was quickly realized that the sign had incurred too much rust damage. As such, new signage was made to faithfully recreate the first version.
Five employees at Windfall Rod Shop took part in the work, consisting of Gordon Lamey, Shaun Gustafson, Chester Raup, Brett Mader and Steve Kaylor. Joyce praised the efforts of the team, calling them “fantastic craftsmen.”
The neon work was done by Neonworks, a Cincinnati-based company. Deac Mong, an artist from the Franklin area, painted the new lettering on the display in the original style, while Tyler Henderson, of Henderson Electric, assisted with the wiring for the final installation.
When it was all said and done, Wescoat found herself overwhelmed once she saw her new sign lit up.
“I was speechless when we turned that on,” she said. “It was amazing. It was even better than I expected.”
In fact, so overjoyed was she at the display that Wescoat left the sign on all night the first day it was installed.
Anyone wishing to view the new neon lights can find Missy’s Arcade Restaurant at 116 Diamond St.
Ray can be reached, by email, at email@example.com.