Elvis statue back in place on Rosedale diner

After theft, Elvis gets face-lift

August 09, 2010|By Jonathan Pitts, The Baltimore Sun

"Elvis has left the building," a popular saying goes, but it's the return of the King that has patrons of a Rosedale eatery all shook up.

The 7- foot statue of Elvis Presley thieves stole from its perch atop the Happy Day Diner in Rosedale last month has been restored and returned, and the restaurant's co-owner says her establishment's star attraction is looking better than ever.

"He seems 100 years younger," said Maria Pigiaditis, who watched two men haul the statue up a ladder and reinstall it Saturday. "He got new feet, a new microphone and a sort of facelift. I think he found a fountain of youth."

It was a happy ending to a tale that mystified customers and authorities alike. Pigiaditis and her husband and co-owner, Dimitrios "Jimmy" Pigiaditis, arrived at work one morning in early July to find the statue missing — all of it, that is, but one foot the thieves evidently couldn't pry up.

A good Samaritan later found it in a cemetery, its paint scratched and in need of reconstructive surgery, and brought it back home.

Repair work was provided free of charge, Pigiaditis said, by the owners of Blackwell Auto Body in Essex, who had closely followed the story in the news.

"[The owner's] cousin had been a customer here, and he loved Elvis," she said. "He dressed up as Elvis for parades and things like that. They said he passed away a year ago. They did it as a tribute to him."

It was practically a civic gesture. The whole time the statue was missing, customers kept stopping by to ask when it would be put back up, Pigiaditis said. Some were on hand Saturday to take pictures of the reinstallation, and they're still stopping in to congratulate her.

The co-owner is pleased with the outcome, she said, but she's taking precautions. Among the statue's new features is a stronger security chain. "They still don't know who took him," she said.

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