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Arnolds American Diner

Hoddesdon diner’s incredible offer for heroic builders working on ill baby’s new bedroom

We gave an impromptu interview to the Hertfordshire Mercury after they heard we entertained the Band of Builders during Sadie’s Project, which ended up touching so many people and really brought the community together:

Hoddesdon diner came to the rescue of tradesmen battling icy conditions to build a new bedroom for a baby girl who needs a machine to breathe.

The Band of Builders, a group committed to donating time and skills for fellow tradesmen, must complete their project for two-year-old Sadie by Sunday – but faced disastrous delays.

“They came in with their muddy boots and I jokingly asked if they knew any good floorers who could redo it for us. They are great guys, we loved having them here.”

After a day-long struggle to lay vital foundations through icy soil and grit at the house on River Avenue, the builders, who come from around the country and work for free, were left cold and hungry.

After reading about their struggles and the community’s incredible support in the Mercury, Arnolds Diner in Stanstead Road offered to feed all 23 free-of-charge.

Ben Sullivan, who took ownership of the diner six months ago, sad: “We had read the story in the Mercury anyway but then one of their family friends contacted us and asked if we could send food.

“We thought it was a great idea and we did that, but then we thought we would go one better and spend the evening with them here.

“They were really humble and genuinely nice guys and they were grateful to be out the cold. Their project is greater than what we do here so we were happy to set aside time for them.”

Dad-of-two Ben, a former barrister’s clerk who made the move to Hoddesdon after nearly 21 years “hating” his old job, served three courses and beer with his wife Harriet at 6pm last night (February 28).

The builders were given starters of garlic bread and halloumi fries, followed by burgers, onion rings and chicken wings, before pancakes for dessert.

The diner’s entire supply of Budweiser was finished off by the thirsty builders, but Ben was happy to help the cause.

“It’s just a little thing we could do for the community,” he said.

“They are great guys, we loved having them here.”

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